LUBBOCK, Texas — Alexander May’s defense team told a Lubbock jury Tuesday morning, “This isn’t a clear-cut case,” in reference to the deadly crash that killed Jonathan Pesqueda, 18.
No one doubts May was driving on August 3, 2017, and no one doubts his vehicle crashed – leading to the death of Pesqueda. The dispute which shaped up in opening arguments was whether May’s actions rise to the level of manslaughter.
May, age 26 at the time, of Midland had a blood alcohol level of 0.232, according to an arrest warrant. The legal limit to drive in Texas is 0.08.
According to court records from 2017, a surveillance camera at the Science Spectrum that faced the South Loop caught May’s vehicle traveling more than 88 miles per hour, heading westbound in the eastbound lane. Police believed at the time May and a passenger were bar-hopping before the collision.
“There will be no reasonable doubt that the defendant was under the influence,” prosecutor Mandi Say told the jury. “You’re guilty of manslaughter when you recklessly cause the death of someone else.”
She continued, “The defendant’s actions caused the death of the victim. The investigation will show that the defendant was speeding, drove his truck the wrong way on the Loop, drove his truck head on into the victim. His vehicle became a deadly weapon.”
Defense attorney Fred Stangl had a different take.
“We’re here today in the eyes of the law to what extent the defendant is responsible for the death of victim, to determine if there was a crime committed,” Stangl said to the jury.
“This wasn’t intentional,” he continued to explain. “Was it reckless or was it criminally negligent? The evidence is going to show you, that it couldn’t have been avoided. By the time the danger was known, it was too late.”
“The evidence is not there to convict of manslaughter,” he said. Ultimately, the jury will decide who is right.
After opening statements, prosecutors began calling witnesses including a 911 dispatcher and an eyewitness.
The first police office on the scene described the passenger compartment of Pesqueda’s car collapsed with Pesqueda trapped inside. The officer was not able to provide medical aid to Pesqueda because of the wreckage.
The trial was scheduled to continue. If convicted, May faces up to 20 years in prison.
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