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The judge in the trial of Dr. Joseph Yurich is expected to announce a verdict at some point on Wednesday. Yurich is accused of crashing a boat into a fishing vessel on May 9, 2015. The accident resulted in the death of Neal Cuppett, 58. Bruce Lindamood,42, was injured as well. Yurich is facing several charges, including vehicular homicide.
The case, held in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in Youngstown, Ohio, was tried as a bench trial, meaning that the judge will determine whether Yurich is guilty or not, instead of a jury. Watch the announcement in the player above live when it happens.
In addition to homicide, and a vehicular assault charge for Lindamood’s injury, Yurich, a surgeon, is accused of being drunk at the time of the crash. He is facing a charged of operating a watercraft while impaired. A blood alcohol test showed a level of .08, which is just above the legal limit, however the tests were ruled to be inadmissible at trial because the blood and urine samples had not been properly refrigerated before going to a lab for testing. Despite this, prosecutors believe they still have enough evidence to support the charge, including a statement from Yurich, where he allegedly admitted to having “a couple” drinks.
Closing arguments took place on Tuesday, after the defense had been calling witnesses since Monday. Before that, the prosecution called 21 witnesses when presenting their case. Prosecutors tried to show that Yurich was impaired by alcohol at the time of the accident. Yurich had claimed that he thought his boat had hit a rock, which is why he kept going after the crash instead of staying at the scene. Witnesses testified that the other boat’s lights were on at the time. They also said that it was likely that Yurich was speeding at the time of the crash, given the nature of the collision and the damage done.
Nevertheless, witnesses including an officer who investigated the case testified that they didn’t see any signs of intoxication when they spoke to Yurich after the acccident.
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