MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Closing arguments in the DUI manslaughter trial of Sandor Guillen, who is accused of killing 13-year-old Kaely Camacho, will begin Monday morning.
Friday, the state rested after putting two technical witnesses on the stand.
The defense called two witnesses.
Thursday, toxicologist Dr. Lisa Reidy testified that Guillen had a blood alcohol level of .26, more than three times the legal limit when he T-boned Kirk Camacho’s minivan on the morning of April 13th, 2012. Guillen was driving in the Miami-Dade busway at SW 184th Street and U.S. 1.
Guillen claimed he had the green light at the intersection but Miami-Dade traffic engineer Hiram Hernandez testified Thursday that’s not possible.
Hernandez said sensors on the busway won’t give a bus or other vehicle the green if it’s going more than 15 miles per hour, otherwise there is a 55-second delay before the light turns green.
“The reason was to force the bus drivers down before they get the green,” Hernandez testified, adding that the system was configured to reduce the frequency of collisions on the once accident-plagued busway.
Prosecutors have said Guillen was barreling down the busway in excess of 80 mph, far too fast to have had time to trigger a green light.
Hernandez also offered an obvious but relevant answer in response to a question from prosecutor Laura Adams.
“Are civilian vehicles allowed to use the busway?” Adams asked. “No,” Hernandez replied. “They are not.”
The minivan the girl was in was ripped in half by the force of the impact, and Guillen’s SUV then rammed a tree, spun five times and came to rest nearly half the length of a football field away.
Traffic homicide investigators also took the stand Thursday whose work the defense tried to attack.
Defense attorney Bruce Lehr accused Det. Oscar Perez of destroying his original notes on the accident scene. Perez countered that he converted his original work into a diagram drawn to scale, a much more accurate presentation than the rough sketches he made by hand at the scene.
“I feel you are disrespecting me,” Perez told Lehr. Efforts to challenge the detective’s credibility did not appear to score points with the jurors, some of whom appeared visibly irritated.
Traffic homicide Detective David Greenwell showed jurors photos of Guillen’s demolished Range Rover, the Camacho’s van ripped in half, and the blood covered seat where Kaely was fatally injured.
The girl’s mother, sister and other family members watched, wearing bracelets of blue—Kaely’s favorite color.
Wednesday, Kaely’s father gave emotional testimony when he recalled the crash.
“I basically saw what seemed like a flash and, umm, followed by a sound that sounded like a bomb,” said Camacho.
Adams told the jury Kaely’s head was impaled by a cup holder that left a gaping hole in her head.
Not only did Guillen fail to call 911 or try to help the Camachos, but he stumbled away, ditching his IDs in a clump of bushes. But a police officer, alerted to the traffic accident, spotted Guillen in a nearby field — listening to music on his cellphone.
Guillen claimed he had been “jumped” by unknown assailants, Adams told jurors. But DNA in the blood on the Range Rover’s airbag pinpointed Guillen as the driver of the speeding vehicle, Adams said.
“That coward ran away,” Adams said, looking at Guillen.
His defense attorney, Bruce Lehr, acknowledged that the collision occurred. But he said Guillen, a physical therapy assistant from Coral Gables, was severely injured and disoriented after the wreck.
Guillen pleaded not guilty to DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. Guillen refused a plea deal.
If Guillen is found guilty, he faces up to 30 years in prison.