Victoria,Texas - Update 12/13/18:
A key witness was brought to the stand in the trial of Johnny Durham, the man accused of running over and killing Lawrence Christ at a car show meet.
The prosecution first brought up a car show attendee, one of two witnesses who recorded footage of the alleged crime. The witness explained to the court he had seen Christ attempt to stop Durham. He stated Christ had pounded his hands on the hood of Durham’s car and heard him yell "What’s wrong with you? Turn off your car!". The witness said Durham then turned into Christ and ran him over from the left side of the car.
This account was confirmed when the second witnesses’ video was played for the court, showing the moment Durham ran over Christ. As the video was played, gasps could be heard from the audience, including members of Durham’s family.
The trial entered recess at 5:00 pm. Witness testimony will resume Friday morning at 9:00 pm.
Witness testimony continued in the trial of Johnny Durham, the man accused of running over and killing Lawrence Christ at a car show meet.
The day began with the testimony of a Victoria police officer who helped on the scene. During the investigation, the officer said crash data from Durham’s Buick LeSabre was obtained. The officer was quick to clarify that the crash data only showed data after Christ was struck by the car.
According to the officer, the crash data showed Durham had only attempted to break one second before crashing into a nearby Chevy Camero. The data also showed Durham had been driving around twenty miles per hour in the parking lot before the crash. The officer stated the crash data provided from the car was consistent with the video of Durham in the parking lot given to VPD by two residents who had witnessed and recorded the alleged crime.
The trial will resume Thursday morning.
Witness testimony began in the trial of Johnny Durham, the man accused of running over and killing Lawrence Christ at a car show meet.
An important moment occurred mid way through the trial as the prosecution brought Maggie Christ, wife of Lawrence Christ, to the stand. Christ explained to the court she was working the registration table when the incident occurred. After growing concerned, she approached the incident location where a friend approached her. When Christ asked who was hit, the friend said "I can’t tell you", which Christ responded with "Oh my god, it’s Larry".
Christ went on to detail the scene, saying her husband was transported to the emergency room of Citizens Medical Center. After several hours, Christ said officials told her her husband needed to be transported to San Antonio but that they believed he couldn't be stabilized enough to make the trip. After saying her final goodbyes, Christ requested her husband's life support be turned off in accordance to a Do Not Resuscitate order they signed together nine years prior. She explained to the court she simply wanted to "Let him go... according to his wishes."
Dispatch calls were played earlier in the day, painting a scene of chaos, confusion and anger following the incident. Multiple callers described Christ’s condition during this time, saying he had blood everywhere and was gasping for air. Christ was pronounced dead at 12:35 pm, just over two hours after the incident. His cause of death was ruled as multiple blunt force trauma.
The trial entered recess at 5:00 Pm. Trial will resume Wednesday morning at 9:00.
The jury presiding over Johnny Durham's competency trial have determined Durham is competent to stand trial for his alleged crimes.
The day began with a lengthy testimony from former Psychologist Dr. Joel Kutnick, the man who previously determined Durham mentally competent in a previous 2010 case. Kutnick explained to the jury that he believed Durham had faked his incompetence in 2010 to escaped punishment and believes the same thing is taking place now.
The defense argued that Durham's mental state can change drastically in eight years and that his previous incompetency claim has no bearing on the proceedings in this trial. They added that Durham's history of drug abuse also plays a factor in his incompetence. Kutnick agreed this could be possible but downplayed the argument, stating reports after the alleged crime show Durham was alert and aware of his actions.
Kutnick ended his testimony with the believe that Durham is competent and ready to stand trial.
After the defense and prosecution gave their closing statements, the jury were sent to their chambers for deliberations. The jury were ordered to determine Durham's competency based on two, and only these two, key questions: (1) Did Durham have the proper ability to consult with his attorney in preparation of the trial and (2) Does Durham have the rational and facts necessary to understand the charges placed on him?
After less than an hour, the jury returned and submitted their verdict; Durham was found competent to stand trial for his alleged crimes.
The jury trial for Johnny Durham will begin on Monday.
It is day two of the Johnny Durham competency hearing.
Durham is accused of intentionally running over and killing Lawrence Christ at a car show in Victoria in April of 2018.Monday, the prosecution argued Durham is fit to stand trial due to his behavior in the hospital and in jail. Newscenter 25's David Gibson attended today proceedings and brings us what was discussed.
Day 2 of the Johnny Durham competency hearing began with testimony from his family.Esera Torres, Durham's step daughter, says that he was her role model because he was always there for her.Torres remembers Durham asking how she is doing in school.
She adds that Durham would talk to her mom 2 or 3 times a day and she heard them talking about budgeting money before.Durham wrote her a letter in November telling her he was proud of her and to take care of her mom.
Next they called his wife Connie Durham to the stand, she says that when she would visit him that he was different and stuttered real bad and couldn't remember much.She also added that Durham would say that people wanted to hurt him and poison him.Connie Durham told the jury that she doesn't think he is competent to stand trial.
Prosecutor Steven Tyler also read to her how Durham told the nurses at citizens that he was remorseful and want to visit the man he ran over.
The defense rested their case and then the prosecutor gets to call witnesses.
After speaking to Durham's 3 parole officers they say they believe Durham is competent.
Steven Tyler called Dr. Kutnick to the stand, he claims when he interviewed Durham there was a lot of inconsistencies in his stories. Thats why he feels like Durham is putting on an act.
Tyler had Dr. Kutnick read Durham's urine analysis report which reveled he tested positive for weed and PCP.
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