Prosecution wraps in road rage homicide trial
BATON ROUGE - The prosecution finished presenting its negligent homicide case against Kelyse Hall, Wednesday evening after calling nine witnesses to testify. Hall is accused of causing a deadly crash in March 2011 that killed five people on I-10 between the Highland Rd. exit and Prairieville, La.
Kimberly Stagg, 19, Effie Fontenot, 29, Austin Fontenot, 3, Hunter Johnson, 7, and Keagan Fontenot, 11 all died when the car burst into flames.
The prosecution's case shows Hall and David Leger were playing a "cat and mouse" game while speeding westbound on I-10. Leger was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide in the crash. His blood alcohol level was .10, which is above the legal limit.
Witnesses testified Hall and Leger were driving faster than the posted speed limit when Leger tried to pass Hall on the right shoulder.
State troopers told the court, Hall's SUV clipped the back on Leger's truck which sent him into the median eventually striking an 18-wheeler and another car in the eastbound lanes. Witnesses testified Hall would not let Leger pass her and described it as road rage. Hall's attorney, Alfred C Williams, shot holes in the prosecutions case referencing three different accounts of what led up to the crash.
The family of the victims broke into tears as witness, John Robie told the story he remembers. Robie, a volunteer firefighter from Donaldsonville, La., was driving eastbound in front of the victim's car when he saw a white truck cross the median. He immediately pulled over and approached the car that had caught fire.
"The fire was so hot, I could not get to them," Robie testified while holding back tears.
Robie continued to try to free the victims from the fire, but it was too hot.
"They were still screaming in the vehicle. A baby was screaming. That is what I heard," Robie said. Since the crash, Robie has received counseling and said it haunts him to this day.
"To ask me to watch while someone burned is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," Robie said. Williams asked Robie if he has any evidence Hall caused the crash, which Robie replied, "no."
Thursday Williams will present his case to Judge Trudy White.
Leger is due back in court in November for another hearing where a trial date will likely be set.