"My office filed criminal charges against Brandon Bostian, the engineer of the Amtrak 188 train involved in the deadly crash in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015", Shapiro said on Friday.
Judge Marsha Neifield of Philadelphia Municipal Court issued an order saying Brandon Bostian could be charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
However, the Philadelphia's district attorney's office determined that the evidence did not rise to the necessary level needed to charge the engineer or anyone else with a crime.
Then on Thursday, a judge ordered the attorney general's office to file charges in the case. Per Pennsylvania law, involuntary manslaughter when it was a direct result of reckless or negligent behavior is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by two-and-a-half to five years in prison per charge.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators said the train was traveling at 105 miles (170 kilometers) an hour, twice the speed limit, when the driver slammed on the emergency brakes just before the crash.
Amtrak agreed to a $265 million settlement with the injured and families of those killed.
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Prosecutors said they were in talks with Bostian's attorney to have him surrender on the charges. "That's for a jury to decide in this case, as to whether or not Mr. Bostian is credible or incredible".
The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of NY executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son.
It's rare but not unprecedented for citizens to seek private criminal complaints when they object to a prosecutor's decision.
The NTSB analyzed the engineer's cell phone to determine whether he was distracted by the device. The other people killed included Justin Zemser, a Naval Academy midshipman; Jim Gaines, an Associated Press software architect; and Derrick Griffith, a college dean. The automated system notifies an engineer if the train is speeding and applies the brakes automatically if the engineer does not respond.
The judge's unusual order came a day before Friday's two-year deadline to file charges in the May 12, 2015, crash that killed eight. Investigators say seven to nine of those minutes the engineer was listening to and participating in the radio conversations regarding other trains being hit with a projectile.
Kline spoke to Jacobs' father, John Jacobs, shortly after the charges were announced and said the man "wept at his daughter's grave tonight".