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Jury seated in vehicular homicide trial

2 years 7 months 1 week ago October 14, 2014 Oct 14, 2014 Tuesday, October 14 2014 October 14, 2014 10:17 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Rob Krieger

BATON ROUGE - A six-person jury has been selected the vehicular homicide trial of a man accused of killing one cyclist and injuring a second while driving drunk in 2012.

Joseph Branch faces charges of vehicular homicide and 1st degree vehicular negligent injury for the crash that killed Nathan Crowson and injured Danny morris on Perkins road nearly three years ago.

Police said Branch was four time the legal limit when he was tested after the crash, but his attorney's argue the system used to test him was faulty. 

DeVan Pardue, Branch's lawyer, hopes to convince jurors that anyone would have hit the two cyclist, regardless of alcohol use.

"What was actually the cause of the accident? Was it someone driving down the road? The other witnesses will have something to say about it, it's kind of hard to see someone wearing black, riding down Perkins Road on a four lane highway and can't even get off the road because of the curb," said Pardue.

"They're grasping at straws, anything they can say to delay us further, he knows his client is guilty, it's a joke," said Morris, who plans to testify in the trial.

Morris thinks if Branch is convicted any penalty won't match the pain he and Nathan Crowson's family face each day.

"He'll never have to pay the way we have, every day of my life I have to deal with this, you see me walking with cane pretty well, but without the leg brace I'm limping pretty bad, so a couple years in jail is nothing compared to what we've had to go through," said Morris.

Judge Mike Erwin informed the court that one witness subpoenaed to testify is refusing to show up. Former East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Shannon Cooper told the court he won't show up for the trial, but Judge Erwin assured the court he would do what it takes to get him on the stand.

"If we do have to arrest him, we will," said Judge Erwin.

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