The fate of 31-year-old Travis Collins is in the hands of 12 jurors who will decide his punishment as he pleads guilty on two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
Orange police said Collins was drunk and speeding on May 24, 2015 on Park Avenue. Officials said he went airborne at the railroad tracks before landing on a motorcycle killing 52-year-old Riley Portie and his wife 50-year-old Emily Portie.
The jury pool started out with 66 people in the 128th district court in Orange County but was narrowed down to seven men and five women this afternoon.
During Voir Dire, a few potential jurors told the attorneys they would not consider giving Collins probation during the trial.
Collins’ cousin, Shawn Anderson, is hoping for a fair sentencing and said he is worried it could turn into a race issue.
"We want justice and the right thing you know the fair and justice thing," said Anderson. Whoever the jurors are, I just want them to just be fair, I understand people are going to say things and persuade you to say otherwise but our whole justice system is based on trust."
Anderson emphasized his brother made a mistake and is truly sorry for the lives that were lost.
“It’s in gods hands, he has the final say so," said Anderson. "I just want the world to know my cousin is not a troubled person at all he’s never been in trouble and we should give him a fair chance if he’s never been in trouble before."
Family member of the victims in court did not wish to make a comment.
However, 12news did speake to Steve Portie, the brother of Riley Portie on the phone. He said he is anxious for the trial to be over with. He explains he hopes justice is served but is also praying to God to help him forgive Collins.
First Assistant District Attorney Phillip Smith will be representing the state during the sentencing. Luro C. Taylor will be representing Travis Collins.
The sentencing will begin tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Orange County courthouse. The case will be taking place in Judge Courtney Arkeen’s court.
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