Local News

Judge OKs wreck expert for teen charged in fatal crash

Posted September 10, 2010 12:38 p.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2010 1:00 p.m. EDT

— Attorneys for a Triton High School senior charged with murder in a June wreck that killed his girlfriend can hire an accident reconstruction expert to aid in their defense, a judge ruled Friday.

Ashley Moore, 16, a junior at Triton High in Dunn, died in the June 4 crash in the parking lot of a Walmart between Dunn and Erwin. Dillon Tart, who was driving the SUV, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Tart, 18, was indicted in July on a charge of second-degree murder in Moore's death. He is on house arrest while awaiting trial.

Police have said that witnesses told them the teens were arguing inside Tart's SUV at a gas station several hundred yards away from the Walmart shortly before the vehicle accelerated, clipped two vehicles and then flipped several times, hitting the front of the store.

Tart's mother, Patricia Jackson, said witnesses have told her insurance company that they only heard Moore screaming before the crash.

Jackson contends that her son suffered a seizure before the wreck. Medical records show he has a history of seizures, including grand mal seizures in November 2007 and July 2008 that sent him to the hospital.

A judge ruled that Tart's attorneys could spend up to $3,000 to have someone reconstruct the accident. Defense requests for money to hire a private investigator and a neurologist to aid in their case were denied.