In June 2009, four Santa Fe teenagers were killed when the vehicle they were in (driven by a fifth teen who survived) was struck by a sport utility vehicle driving by Scott Owens, a suspected drunk driver who has been in jail since.
On Monday, after plenty of continuances and delays, the trial on vehicular homicide charges is finally about to begin. (Well, Monday is jury selection. If that ends in time, then opening arguments and the trial can begin. If not, opening arguments will begin on Tuesday.)
I’m not going to try and detail every detail that may come up in the anticipated six-day trial, so here is the extremely oversimplified question jurors will be asked to decide: What was the cause of the crash?
While some think if a driver was drunk, all bets are off and any crash he is involved in becomes his responsibility, the defense and expert crash reconstruction witnesses are expected to present evidence suggesting Owens’ driving was not the cause of the crash.
Expect a lot of emotion and a lot of anger coming out next week as both sides present their cases.
The trial will be held in the court of State District Judge Michael Vigil. The lead prosecutor is Deputy District Attorney Doug Couleur and the defense attorney is Dan Cron.
Here is the first story former crime reporter Jason Auslander did on the case in June 2009: