The trial of Joshua Gaspar continues on Thursday in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Gaspar is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide for allegedly striking and killing Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez on September 15, 2016, while driving under the influence. Testimony is expected to resume at 11:00 am ET. Watch live in the player above.
Gaspar is not accused of being drunk, rather the DUI charge stems from him having methadone in his system due to treatment he had just minutes for the accident. Watch live in the player above. Gaspar is facing special upgraded charges due to the alleged homicide of an officer.
During opening statements on Wednesday, Gaspar’s defense said that the methadone had no impact on his ability to drive, and that dashcam footage that the jury will see during the trial will show that he wasn’t impaired. Defense attorney Jon Sinn insisted that the accident that took Velez’s life was nothing more than just that–an accident.
The prosecution’s opening, however, said that not only was Gaspar impaired, there’s more to the story as well. Assistant District Attorney Aqueelah Jordan that Gaspar drove recklessly, and shouldn’t have been on the road in the first place because he didn’t have a valid license to drive. Months before the accident, Jordan said, Gaspar lied to get a license, Jordan said.
In addition to charges related to driving under the influence (which includes one count of aggravated vehicular homicide), Gaspar is also facing additional homicide charges for allegedly driving recklessly. Immediately prior to the accident, Gaspar was allegedly driving 78 mph on a road with a speed limit of 60 mph, and he had to swerve when the car in front of him stopped short. Gaspar is also charged with driving with a suspended license.
After openings, witnesses began testifying, including another driver who saw the crash, and one of the officers who responded to the scene. Testimony will continue on Thursday.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Image via Cleveland City Jail]