State Rests in Duerson Intoxication Manslaughter Trial

    The state rests its case in the trial of a Wichita Falls woman charged with intoxication manslaughter in a 2010 crash in which her brother was killed.
    Elizabeth Duerson entered a guilty plea today.
    That means the jury's sole function in the trial will be to recommend punishment.
    Duerson is charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second degree felony, with punishment ranging from two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10-thousand fine.
    Police say just before three a.m. on Jan. 21, 2010, Duerson was driving a car in the 22-hundred block of Kemp, when she jumped the curb, hit a tree, a light pole, then another tree.
    Police say the impact of that crash caused the car to split in half, killing Duerson's brother, Benton "Billy" Crow.
    During testimony Tuesday, Officer Joe Lamond, who's part of WFPD's Accident Reconstruction Team, testified the crash scene spanned 424 feet, almost one-and-a-half football fields in length.
    He also said based on calculations, he believed Duerson was traveling down Kemp Blvd. between 73 and 94 miles per hour.
    The speed limit in that stretch of road is 40 miles per hour.
    During a recorded interview several days after the crash, Duerson told lamond she didn't feel like she was unable to drive.
    Lead prosecutor John Gillespie says a blood draw two hours after the crash shows Duerson's blood alcohol content was .19, more than twice the legal limit.
    Defense attorney Dean Sanders argued Duerson had surgery following the crash, so the loss of blood during the operation would have increased his client's BAC.
    He says his client has never made an excuse, and accepted full responsibility for her actions by entering a guilty plea.
    He challenged jurors to use wisdom in deciding his client's punishment.
    And he said the wise decision is to leave Duerson as a productive, beloved member of society, and not put her behind bars.
    Defense testimony begins tomorrow morning at 9.

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