Posted: Jan 15, 2013 4:32 PM by Bart Bedsole - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Jan 15, 2013 6:48 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Testimony began today in the trial of Michael Aguirre. He's accused of driving drunk on S.P.I.D. a year and a half ago and causing a crash that killed 45-year-old David Garner.
Taking the stand today were several other drivers who saw what happened and stopped to help.
"I saw in my rear view mirror a white car just out of nowhere come flying up on us," witness Billy Holt told the court.
What he saw was 19-year-old Michael Aguirre's Cadillac Escalade going well over 90 miles an hour, according to prosecutors.
Witnesses testified today that Aguirre rear-ended the David Garner's Honda, which hit the barrier and killed him instantly.
"He was in bad shape. There was a lot of blood everywhere, and he was turned, and it was a very gruesome scene, said witness Jose Gonzalez.
Gonzalez and another off-duty deputy stopped to help moments after seeing the crash. He says Aguirre seemed only to care about his own situation.
"He was upset that the car had been messed up. He didn't show any care as far as the person in the black car was concerned," said Gonzalez.
Other witnesses said Aguirre also punched the victim several times then tried to leave the scene with his girlfriend and 8-month old child before they stopped him.
In 911 calls heard by the court today, one witness describes several people sticking around after the crash to make sure Aguirre and his girlfriend did not leave. One woman can be heard in the background saying "C'mon, let's go!"
Throughout the 911 calls witnesses told dispatchers they could not tell if the victim was still alive, or where the victim was injured due to the amount of blood. Aguirre stared straight ahead while the calls were played.
Aguirre did admit to several officers at the scene that he caused the crash. "He made a voluntary statement that he was responsible, that he knew he was going to go to jail," said witness Manuel De Los Santos, an off-duty deputy who helped out in the aftermath.
Corpus Christi Police officer Manuel Castillo told the court, "When he approached me, he turned around said 'Arrest me, it's not fair.'"
Officer Castillo also testified he found a beer can on the floorboard of Aguirre's Escalade, adding that the carpet around the can was wet.
Castillo also said Aguirre smelled of alcohol and could barely stand up straight.
Another officer said Aguirre's eyes were shifting - a key indicator of being intoxicated.
A defense attorney suggested all that could have been the result of the crash itself, not being drunk. He also offered that instead of punching the victim, Aguirre may have simply tried to revive Garner.
Witnesses doubted that's what he was doing. One man told the court he saw Aguirre bringing back his arm several times as he was swinging his fist into the driver's side of Garner's Honda.
Testimony continues tomorrow.
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