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Billy Abraham Trial Day 1: Witnesses take the stand

Updated: Tuesday, July 23 2013, 11:18 AM MDT

By: Melissa Gundersen

EL PASO, Texas --

The trial of a well-known local businessman accused of hitting and killing another man with his truck while driving drunk and leaving the scene began Monday.

William "Billy" Abraham sat in the courtroom with a straight face while witnesses took the stand.

On the night of July 20, 2010, Abraham allegedly drove down Paisano Drive near El Paso Street when he hit and killed 47-year-old Jay Grady.

Police said Abraham had a blood alcohol concentration of more than two times the legal limit during the crash, and prosecutors said Grady's death was a result of drunk driving.

Melvin Harris was driving behind Abraham on the night of the crash, and he told the jury that Abraham wasn't alert.

"I flashed my lights twice to get the white truck's attention, but he continued to go forward," Harris testified in court.

Defense attorney Dick Degurin told the jury a different side. He said that Grady's actions made the accident unavoidable.

"Whether Billy Abraham was intoxicated or stoned, this accident was unavoidable due to the conduct of Jay Grady," Degurin said.

Degurin was referring to Grady's state of drunkenness. He said Grady too had a high blood alcohol concentration more than twice the legal limit.

One man who witnessed the crash from the sidewalk said Grady stumbled into the roadway and walked in front of Abraham's truck. He said Abraham didn't have time to slow down because Grady didn't use the crosswalk. The witness claimed Grady was walking in the middle of a dark road.

"I don't know what happened if the man tried to commit suicide or if he didn't see the truck," the witness said.

In Monday's court, Abraham's parents sat in the courtroom and showed their support. More witnesses are scheduled to take the stand Tuesday.

If Abraham is found guilty, he could be convicted of intoxicated manslaughter and accident involving death.

Billy Abraham Trial Day 1: Witnesses take the stand

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