Police Dash-Cam video shown in Herbert Lee trial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police Dash-Cam video shown in Herbert Lee trial

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By-Bill Alexander, Fox 41 News  balexander@Fox41.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) -- Testimony began Monday in the Herbert Lee murder trial.  Lee is charged with four counts of murder after the passengers of his car were killed when he drove the car into a tree during a police chase.

Aaron Shields, and brothers Jemar and Demar, along with Marc Claybrooks all died in the December 2008 incident.

As part of the opening statements, prosecutors played the police dash-cam video taken the night of the chase. The crash itself was not shown. But you see the chase and wreckage moments after, just off First Street.

The teens weren't supposed to be in the 1991 stolen Honda Accord that night.  They were scheduled to be in a van that brought them to a youth community event sponsored by the now defunct "Youth Alive" community program. Court records show a Youth Alive worker directed the teens to ride home with Lee, because a van normally used for transportation was full.

Metro Police identified the car that night as being stolen.  There was a brief chase, detectives and prosecutors say, with Lee behind the wheel of the stolen car. The first  police officer involved in that chase, Aaron Tinelli, was emotional on the stand Monday, as he described the pursuit and the carnage that followed. He said once on the scene, he could hear one of the teenagers asking for his mother as he waved his arm from the wrecked car.

They say Lee ran into a tree, splitting the car in half. Three of the Pleasure Ridge Park High School students died at the scene.  The other later died at University Hospital.

For nearly two years, the families on both sides have been struggling. The survivors of the dead teens are dealing with their loss and Lee's family is wondering what's around the corner.  Lee has a juvenile criminal history, but now he's facing four counts of murder, a charge of reckless driving, fleeing and evading police, and receiving stolen property.

Monday, prosecutors said they want to drop a reckless driving charge against Lee, but the four counts of murder will stand. Prosecutor Michelle Rudovich would not elaborate.

Defense attorney Karen Faulkner said Herbert Lee, "made bad decisions, but he's not guilty of murder."

Members of the jury may take a  "field trip" to see what is left of the car that struck the tree. The wreckage could be brought to the Judicial Center or a place designated by Circuit Judge Mitch Perry, as the trial continues.

Attorneys have also agreed not to talk about pending civil litigation involving "Youth Alive" and their former workers.

Testimony continues Tuesday morning.

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