Defense Takes Over In Officer Murder Trial - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/21/04

Defense Takes Over In Officer Murder Trial

Jonathan White's defense team will begin presenting its case Thursday. Lawyers plan to prove that the 28-year-old didn't intend to harm Moss Point Police Officer Larry Lee, and shouldn't face capital murder charges.

Police say White killed Lee in October of 2002 when he rammed his car on the Highway 63 high rise bridge while fleeing a routine traffic stop.

Wednesday, the state rested its case after two days of testimony. Prosecutors brought in several of Lee's fellow officers along with expert witnesses.

Officer Lee's family fought back emotions as they heard a list of the multiple injuries the patrolman suffered.

"Both his thigh bone and his ankle bone were broken, typical of a person who was hit by a car. His body was hit by a car, not inside a car, but standing with his weight on his feet," Forensic Pathologist Dr. Paul McGary said.

Prosecutors believe it's important to show Lee was hit standing outside his car. They also wanted to show that his patrol car was visible the night it was hit.

Tommy Nabb, who served with Larry Lee, testified that Lee's patrol lights were on. When asked if there was any doubt in his mind, Nabb answered, "No. Because I turned the lights off."

District Attorney Tony Lawrence told the court blood samples taken the night of the accident show White's blood alcohol content was higher than the legal limit, at 0.09 percent.

Prosecutors also called in accident reconstructionist Marty Davis. Using several photographs and diagrams, Davis explained White's Blazer was traveling 78 miles per hour when it hit Officer Lee and the patrol car.

Davis went on to show there was 27 feet of available road space, and White could have dodged the car and Larry Lee.

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