[Watch LawNewz Network coverage of the trial in the player above, with in-studio analysis. For a direct feed of this trial, see the player at the bottom of this article]
The trial of Joshua Gaspar continues on Friday 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 9:00 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.
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.
Witnesses on Thursday included one of the responding officers who described Gaspar’s appearance. McGhaw said that Gaspar’s pupils appeared smaller than usual, which he took to be a sign that Gaspar may not have been sober. However, on cross-examination, Gaspar’s defense attorney asked about other common signs of intoxication or impairment, and the officer admitted that Gaspar did not exhibit those signs. Additionally, the defense asked the officer if he was aware that methadone can cause small pupils, and the officer said he was not aware of this.
Despite this, the prosecution regained some ground with the witness during redirect examination, when the officer said that he didn’t really examine Gaspar for signs of intoxication or sobriety, because it wasn’t his job. He was only there to secure the scene and figure out who was at fault in the accident.
The court also heard from paramedic Anthony McGhaw, who responded to the scene.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Image via Cleveland City Jail]