Victim's daughter testifies in sentencing hearing for man guilty of 2016 intoxication manslaughter

Testimony in the sentencing hearing of Michael Lynn Davis, 38, who admitted causing the wreck that killed Jerry Campbell, 77, of Vidor, began on Monday.

ORANGE - Emotions ran high Tuesday as the sentencing hearing for a Kountze man who pled guilty to the 2016 intoxication manslaughter of a Vidor man continued.

Testimony in the sentencing hearing of Michael Lynn Davis, 38, who admitted causing the wreck that killed Jerry Campbell, 77, of Vidor, began on Monday.

Campbell's daughter, Jo Campbell, testified that she received a call that she will never forget when her younger sister called to tell her go check on her father.

She told jurors that when she looked outside all she could see was a white truck in the ditch so she ran outside and started screaming for her father.

Jo testified she frantically looked for her the white hat he always wore and kept screaming realizing something was wrong when he didn't answer.

"I kept yelling Daddy, I was looking for his cowboy hat and then my heart went numb and I knew it wasn't good," said Campbell. 

When she got closer to the wreck a bystander asked if she was the daughter and then told her she shouldn't get close to the scene.

She testified that got closer anyway and when she saw her father lying underneath the truck she tried to check for a pulse for a bit but said she knew it was too late.

"You could tell he was gone, we tried to check his pulse but we knew better it was already over, he was gone," Campbell.


During testimony Davis appeared uncomfortable and kept looking down with his hand over his forehead.

Earlier in the day toxicologist Cheryl Payton gave the jury an in-depth look at what she found after examining Davis' blood sample following the wreck.

Payton testified that she found methamphetamine as well as Xanax in Davis' blood.

She explained that the amount of drugs in his system would have affected his motor skills.

When asked about the effects of meth on a driver she explained that typically it would cause a driver to drift on the road and even fall asleep.

In the morning the prosecutor showed jury members dash cam video of DPS Trooper Woodard talking to Davis.

In the video Woodard can be heard asking Davis if he was taking any pain medication the day of the accident.

Davis said he did not and then Woodard asked about needle marks on Davis’ arms and if he did any illegal narcotics. 

In the video Davis said he did not take any drugs. 

The video also captured Davis during a field sobriety test in which he appeared to be wobbling.   

Woodard determined that Davis was intoxicated.

The defense cross examined the trooper asking why Davis was brought to a different location for the sobriety test.

Woodard testified it was to get away from the scene saying he did not want to do the test in front of the victim’s family.

Former DPS Trooper Richard Howard, who is now a patrol captain for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, also testified telling jurors that there were no skid marks at the accident site.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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