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Billy Abraham trial: Jury learns alcohol's role in deadly crash

Updated: Tuesday, July 23 2013, 11:10 PM MDT

By: Melissa Gundersen

EL PASO, Texas --

Day 2 begins in the trial of a well-known El Paso businessman accused in a deadly hit-and-run accident three years ago.

Drunken driving was the heated topic in the courtroom Tuesday. A jury watched a video of the Billy Abraham going through a field sobriety test.

The video was taken July 20, 2010, the night Abraham allegedly was driving drunk down Paisano Drive near El Paso Street when he hit and killed Jay Grady, a pedestrian.

Grady was also reportedly trying to cross the street while drunk.

The video showed Sgt. Jaime Esparza with the DWI Task Force testing Abraham's vision and balance. During the vision test, Esparza said Abraham had a hard time keeping his head still like he was supposed to.

Also, when instructed to walk in a straight line, Esparza said Abraham lost his balance.

The video also shows Abraham under arrest in the back of Esparza's police car.

"I had nothing to drink tonight. I want to see you stand on your foot for 30 seconds," Abraham had said.

Esparza caused some heat in the courtroom Tuesday when he said Abraham is at fault because of his alleged drunken driving. The defense wanted Esparza's testimony thrown out. However, the judge eventually denied that request.

Whether Abraham's alleged drunken driving caused the accident is a big argument between the prosecution and defense.

Defense attorney Dick Degurin said Abraham was not speeding, swerving or driving recklessly. Degurin also said that Grady was drunk and stumbled in front of Abraham's truck.

When Grady was hit, he was not in a crosswalk, but in the middle of the dark road.

Esparza remained amid about Abraham, saying he was at fault.

"The fact that he's intoxicated, he's hit a pedestrian, he fled the scene," Esparza said.

Medical Examiner Dr. Juan Contin told the jury that the cause of Grady's death was blunt-force trauma, even though Grady did have other health problems.

Court will reconvene Wednesday morning where the defense is expected to start calling their own witnesses.

Billy Abraham trial: Jury learns alcohol's role in deadly crash


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