Local News

Witnesses Testify About Timothy Blackwell's Driving In DWI Case

Posted November 4, 2002

— Opening statements began Monday at the trial of Timothy Blackwell, who is charged in the drunken driving death of a Durham toddler killed in a wreck almost six years ago.

Blackwell faces second-degree murder charges in the death of 4-year-old Megan Dail. Investigators said Blackwell's pickup truck collided with the Dails' minivan, killing Megan. Investigators said they found syringes and a open container of alcohol in Blackwell's car.

On Monday, jurors heard from witnesses who said Blackwell was swerving all over the road before he hit the Dails' minivan. Prosecutors also played a 911 tape of Megan's father, Greg, telling authorities about how Blackwell was driving eratically on the road.

Sherry Dail, Megan's mother, took the stand Monday and told jurors about the moments leading up to the collision.

"It hit and everything around me just exploded -- airbag, glass, it just shattered and went all over me," she said. "I panicked and I was thinking about my kids. I have to get to my kids."

District Attorney Jim Hardin tried to convince jurors that Blackwell acted in a dangerous manner. Defense attorneys told jurors that Blackwell was tired and overworked at the time of the accident. They claimed Dail's death was not malicious, but an accident.

Blackwell was convicted of first-degree murder in 1998, but the state Supreme Court overturned that conviction, stating that a person cannot be charged with first-degree murder in a DWI case. Blackwell's second trial ended in a mistrial.

On Tuesday, the first rescue workers who arrived at the accident are expected to testify.

The trial is expected to last two weeks. If convicted, Blackwell faces up to 30 years in jail.

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