First Day Of Killings Trial Wraps Up Early On Tuesday
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The first day has concluded in the reckless homicide trial of Ron Killings, a former Rutherford County sheriff's detective, who hit and killed 11-year-old Lakeisha White in a traffic incident.
White of Hopkinsville, Ky., was visiting relatives in Murfreesboro and was crossing a street in July 2008 when she was struck and killed by a sheriff's car driven by Killings.
Killings has been charged with reckless homicide.
During opening statements Prosecutor Joe Baugh and Defense Attorney Terry Fann spoke to a jury of four men and 10 women selected from Chattanooga, while White's family and Killing's family listened.
Baugh told the jury that he will prove that Killings acted recklessly.
The prosecutor also said he will prove that Killings was speeding by providing data from the electronic control device from the sheriff's car that the former detective was driving.
Fann told the jury that he will show that White's death was a horrible accident, with no recklessness involved.
"A perfect storm of circumstances that led to the tragic accident," said Fann.
Fann also told the jury that Killing's speed was justified because he was responding to a call.
Prosecutors told the jury Killings did not use his sirens or lights while responding, but under cross examination a police witness said that often happens when officers respond to sensitive calls like a stakeout.
After opening arguments the first witness, Murfreesboro Police Department Officer Terry Spence, took the stand. Spence was one of the first investigators on scene, and he documented the scene through photography.
At 4 p.m., the prosecution was questioning their fourth witness of the day.
There has been no word yet if Killings will take the stand. The trial is expected to last three to four days. Prosecution will continue to call witnesses Wednesday morning.
Killings also faces charges of filing a false report and tampering with evidence, but he will be tried separately on those counts.
A civil lawsuit over the child's death was recently settled out of court.
NewsChannel 5 will provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial beginning at 9 a.m. on NewsChannel 5+ (Comcast cable channel 250) and live streaming video on NewsChannel5.com.