Trooper testifies: drugs were found in defendants car following crash that killed Vidor man

Michael Davis was charged in the May 2016 death of Jerry Campbell, 77, who was struck by Davis while he was fixing a fence along Arrington Lane in Orange County.

ORANGE - State troopers took the stand in an Orange County courtroom Monday during the intoxication manslaughter sentencing of a Kountze man.

Last week Michael Davis pleaded guilty in the 2016 wreck that killed Jerry Campbell, 77, of Vidor.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Randall Woodard testified that he found methamphetamine hidden inside a flashlight in Davis' car.

Woodard also explained that he found synthetic urine, typically used to pass drug tests and a butane torch lighter.

Woodard testified that he confronted Davis about the drugs but Davis kept saying he didn't take drugs. He said he noticed needle marks on his arms but Davis explained the marks were from when he went to the hospital and when he fell on the ground.

When he told Davis he would need to get a blood sample from him Davis asked why he couldn't do a breath test instead.

Woodard testified he put Davis through several field sobriety tests and that Davis swayed when he performed a walk and turn test. He added he also had trouble standing on one leg during another test.

Davis' speech was also slurred according to Woodard.

Davis told the trooper he got into the accident because his steering wheel locked up.

The trooper testified that he had a mechanic check to see if there were issues with the truck and that after driving the car the mechanic found nothing wrong with it.

Several of Campbell's family members choked up and covered their faces as pictures from the accident scene, including one that showed the victim lying underneath the truck, were shown to the jury.

The victim’s daughter Cindy Campbell testified that she received a call from her father around 5:20 p.m. which happened moments after the accident.

She said she couldn’t really hear her father on the phone so she hung up the phone and tried to call him back. When he did not answer the phone, she immediately called her sister because she felt like something was wrong.

Campbell said her sister looked out the window and saw the wreck by her father’s farm off of FM 105. Campbell started to get tearful on the stand when she told the jury she went to the accident and realized her father was calling her for help.

The next witness who testified was Michelle Lawrence who was driving down FM 105 towards Vidor when she approached the scene of the accident.

She said she saw Davis at the scene of the wreck waving his hands in the air yelling “Oh my god.” When she got closer to the accident she saw Campbell buried underneath the car. She said her husband immediately rushed over to check for his pulse.

At one point she realized Davis was leaving the scene so her husband went after him. Her husband Rodney Lawrence testified that he asked Davis where he was going and told him it would be a bad idea to leave the scene of the accident.

Rodney Lawrence explains Davis told him he couldn’t go back to the scene because he talked to his wife.

When the defense attorney Bryan Laine cross examined he asked if the both Rodney and Michelle Lawrence made a statement to police. They both said they did not make a statement because police were clearing the scene.

Laine also asked Rodney Lawrence if the family members at the scene of the accident were angry. Lawrence told him he could not speak for how the family was feeling at the scene of the accident. However, later in testimony a DPS trooper named Kevin Brewster said one of the family members hit Davis in the head with his fist but explained there were no major injuries.

Trooper Brewster testified Davis also asked if he could perform a breathalyzer test instead of giving a blood sample. When the Defense lawyer cross examined Brewster he asked him if he wrote in his report about Davis being reluctant about giving a blood test.

Brewster also testified that Davis told him he had an issue with his steering wheel locking up when he was driving. He explained Davis told him he did everything he could to stop the vehicle.

Davis was released from jail in September 2016 on a personal recognizance bond because of a delay in getting his toxicology results back.

He later had his bond revoked when he was caught driving which he was not allowed to do as part of his release.

Davis' father tells 12News that he is worried about the trial but also says that his son is torn up about what happened to Campbell.

Testimony will begin again Tuesday at 9 a.m.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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