By Janine Eduljee and Aneri Pattani
A jury is deliberating in the trial of three people charged with inadvertently killing a motorcyclist in 2013.
Defendants Davan Lee Egleston, Victor Martinez and Cherice Garcia are being jointly tried. On a late night in early March of 2013, the three were allegedly driving an SUV when a man on a motorcycle or moped crashed into the right side of the bumper at an intersection in Dorchester, and later died on scene.
Cherice Garcia, of Dorchester, faces multiple charges, including reckless motor vehicle homicide and unlicensed driving. Egleston, also of Dorchester, is charged with two counts of witness intimidation. Martinez, of Revere, is charged with perjury.
But as court proceedings unfolded, it became unclear as to exactly which of three defendants was in the driver’s seat that night.
Cynthia Graham testified in court that she saw the SUV rolling towards a pole right after she heard a loud bang and ran to the scene. That was when she saw a woman get out of the SUV.
“She was short, she looked like she was Spanish…maybe 4‘11,” said Graham, who was walking back home from a friend’s house the night of the crash.
Egleston’s defense attorney Gerasimos Antzoulatos attempted to discredit Graham’s observations by pointing out that when she previously testified in September of 2013, there were many details of the incident she provided that were incongruous with what she was currently alleging.
At one point Graham became frustrated with the cross-examination and burst out, “I seen her get out of the car!” but then later admitted that she did not see Garcia physically get out of the driver’s seat.
Audio recordings of Boston Police Robert Kennedy’s interviews with Egleston, Garcia and Martinez played aloud in court, where all three suspects claimed Egleston was the one driving that night.
According to their individual accounts, Egleston was dropping off Martinez and Garcia from the airport where all three worked, when the motorist came out of nowhere and collided with the car.’
On Wednesday, the judge overseeing the trial said the key to this case was the prosecution’s ability to prove Garcia was driving that night, or else all the other charges would fall apart.
“From my perspective, this case is about who was driving that car,” said Kaplan.
During closing arguments on Thursday, defense attorneys told the jurors their decision should be “clear as day.”
The defense pointed to inconsistencies in several witnesses’ testimony as indication of reasonable doubt. They also highlighted Egleston’s alleged exclamation at the scene that he had killed someone as proof that Egleston was the driver.
The prosecution argued that Egleston had little sleep that night and asked Garcia, his co-worker, to drive the group home in his car. She was the one behind the wheel when the accident occurred, the prosecution claimed.
Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon and continued on Friday.