Testimony ended Friday within the trial of hit-and-run suspect Jeffry Lee
Tsarnas, with attorneys anticipated to current their closing arguments to
the jury on Monday morning.
The ultimate witnesses referred to as by the protection have been California Freeway Patrol
Sgt. Matthew Harvey, who already testified in individual and appeared this
morning by way of Zoom; and Jaime Hansen, who noticed a girl on Fernbridge the
night time of the hit-and-run however can’t bear in mind any particulars. Hansen’s son
was driving on the time.
After jurors left the courtroom this afternoon, protection lawyer April
Van Dyke wished to placed on the courtroom file that Choose Timothy Canning
denied her request to recall Sgt. Harvey for a 3rd time. She wished
Harvey to testify about what Hansen instructed the CHP the night time of the
accident, as she will’t recollect it now.
Apparently, Hansen’s son instructed his mom a girl was mendacity on the
bridge, as if attempting to commit suicide. Van Dyke thought the jury
ought to hear that.
“This could possibly be the distinction between Mr. Tsarnas being convicted and
Mr. Tsarnas being acquitted,” Van Dyke mentioned.
However Canning mentioned there have been
“rumour” issues with the requested testimony, to not point out a drain
on courtroom sources and Harvey’s time. The officer is out on bereavement
Whereas questioning Harvey by way of Zoom, Van Dyke performed tape-recordings of
his interviews with Tsarnas and his then-girlfriend Barbara Craft, who
got here to the CHP workplace the day after the incident to say Tsarnas was the
driver. Harvey didn’t odor alcohol within the automobile, and he didn’t
bear in mind whether or not he had opened the automotive door.
The tape recordings present Harvey did open the automotive door briefly. In the present day he
mentioned he clearly did open the door, although he has no unbiased
recollection, and he didn’t be aware in his report that he smelled liquor.
Craft, who testified throughout the trial, mentioned Tsarnas instructed her he was
ingesting milk and brandy whereas driving, and the drink spilled when he
hit one thing on the bridge.
Underneath cross-examination by Deputy District Lawyer Steven Steward,
Harvey mentioned Tsarnas wasn’t a DUI suspect when he got here to the CHP workplace.
It had been about 22 hours because the collision on the bridge.
After Tsarnas’s automotive hit Kelley, he continued on to the close by on line casino. One witness estimated the automotive that struck Kelley was touring 60 mph,
and he or she noticed no brake lights after the collision.
“Do you steadily encounter a state of affairs the place after an accident, if
somebody has been driving underneath the affect, they flee the scene?”
Steward requested the officer. Van Dyke objected and Harvey was not allowed to reply the query.
In all probability the important thing situation within the trial is whether or not Craft’s testimony was
credible. The couple broke up inside a number of days of the hit-and-run. She
initially was supportive of Tsarnas, however then started revealing
For instance, she mentioned Tsarnas was ingesting whereas driving. And he or she mentioned
that after he got here house from the on line casino, he mentioned at one level: “Oh God,
what if I hit an individual.” Craft had by no means talked about such a press release
She additionally claimed Tsarnas instructed her he knew he hit an individual, however “I’m not going to inform (police) that.”