UPDATE: More from accident reconstructionist in Hastings trial | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 21, 2013

UPDATE: More from accident reconstructionist in Hastings trial

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Pulaski County Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson image
  • Prosecutor John Johnson

More from David Koon. For earlier reporting on the manslaughter trial of former Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings go here.

Day three of the Hastings trial started off with the judge and counsel making an inquiry into several jurors. Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen sent out the jury, then brought back in three jurors — two women and a man — individually for bench conferences with counsel present. After last juror left, Griffen and consel had a long conference at the bench, then jury was brought back in and case proceeded. Oddly, up until the full jury was brought back in, there was extra security in the courtroom gallery — two deputies and an extra baliff. After bench conference was over, extra security in gallery was sent out.

Engineer and accident reconstructionst John Bentley came back to the stand for questioning by Prosecutor John Johnson, who walked Bentley through a series of photos taken of the rock slope at Silver Lake Apartments. Bentley's photos showed that the rocks immediately adjacent to the four-inch curb that Josh Hastings said the Honda drove up on and over after he fired were between 8 and 13 inches higher than the pavement. Bentley said, "The front of the Honda will reach the rocks before the front tire reaches the curb." Around 2 1/2 feet from the curb, photos showed the large, cantaloupe-sized granite rocks are around 20 inches higher than the pavement. All were apparently still "nested" in the soil and undisturbed.

Bentley's photos of the Honda driven by victim Bobby Moore showed that the lowest point of the plastic front air dam of the Honda, when loaded with 300 pounds to simulate driver and passengers, is between 4-1/2 and 4-3/4 inches off pavement. Bentley testified that the only damage to the plastic bumper and plastic radiator undershroud (the plastic piece that runs the width of the car just behind the bumper, directing air to the bottom of the radiator) were "uniform abrasions" consistent with driving up on concrete parking stops and not consistent with an impact to heavy rocks. Bentley testified there was no damge to the floorboards, exhaust, lower panels or front mudflaps that would be consistent with driving up onto heavy granite rocks. "You would expect fairly obvious penetrations to the panels from the sharp corners of the rocks." Bentley said. He also said he found no "rubber transfer" on the curb or the rocks.

After looking at the photos, Johnson displayed Bentley's report and a report prepared by a defense crash expert, noting several passages that seemed nearly identical in wording to Bentley's report and stopping just short of saying those passages were plagiarized. Bentley said the passages were close enough that when he read the defense report, he'd gone back to see if the other author had cited his report, but found that he hadn't. Both reports came to the conclusion that when the car rolled into the awning pole and a Chevy Camaro, the Honda was traveling 10.6 miles per hour. That number was based on his own calculations, Bentley said, with Bentley and questioning implying that it would be extremely odd for two investigators to estimate speed to within a tenth of a mph.

After break, Johnson plans to show video of defense testing in which an identical Honda was driven up the slope.

UPDATE FOLLOWS:

After break with John Bentley still on the stand, John Johnson showed two videos of the defense testing with a Honda similar to the one Bobby Moore was driving. In the first, shot April 22, 2013, defense testers slowly drove the test car over the curb. A foot over the curb, the test car in that video struck a rock and dislodged it from its "nested" position, moving it several inches. Bentley testified that the car in that test left tire tracks and contact evidence on the rock, including paint. The bumber of test car (which didn't have the air dam like the Honda driven by the victim, making the test car several inches further from pavement than the Honda) showed evidence of "very coarse and uneven contact." Photos of test car bumper showed large scrapes extending through the paint and into the plastic.

The other video, was shot at night, with camera placed in the position Hastings said he was that night and test car traveling 13 mph. It shows the car approaching with high beams on, passing the camera, followed by the sound of heavy scraping and contact with the curb and rocks. Bentley noted that the car didn't roll back but instead got stuck, pointing out the reverse lights reflected in another car as the driver backed the car down off the slope, with more heavy scraping sounds.

Prosecutor showed several daylight photos of the rocks on the slope after the 13 mph test, with Bentley pointing out scrapes and black "rubber transfer" marks on the rocks.

Bentley said the test car also showed evidence of scraping to the metal cross members under the car, where Moore's Honda's cross member showed no such scraping. On cross examination, defense attorney Bill James pointed out photo of what appeared to be a scuff mark to the inside of the passenger's front tire and white marks on the bottom of the exhaust pipe on the Honda. Bentley called the marks on the exhaust a "slight discoloration." On recross, Johnson showed a different angle of the exhaust, with Bentley saying the markings on the pipe were "nothing fresh." Bentley was allowed to step down at 12:15 but retained as a potential witness by the prosecution. Court then broke for lunch.

Judge Griffen has told the jury that if the case isn't finished today trial will continue Saturday.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • The Power Ultra Fallout Edition

    The Power Ultra Lounge shooting and related political fallout, Secretary of State Mark Martin and Trump’s election integrity commission and former circuit judge Mike Maggio — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jul 7, 2017
  • The Asa's Health Care Pitch Edition

    Governor Hutchinson’s critique of the Senate health care bill, the erection and destruction of the 10 Commandments monument, the U.S. Supreme Court and birth certificates for same-sex married couples and the appointment of Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland to U.S. Attorney — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Jun 30, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation