LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The jury found Jacob Heil not guilty of reckless homicide and guilty of DUI, according to LEX18. The charge, a misdemeanor, carries a maximum fine of $500.
The trial of Jacob Heil wrapped up with closing arguments Thursday morning.
The child, Marco Shemwell, was crossing a street outside a Kentucky football game in Lexington, when he was struck and killed in September 2018. Heil was 18 years old at the time, and according to prosecutors, had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit when he was driving the car that hit Marco.
Heil's defense team argued that he was guilty of being consuming alcohol underage, but they maintain he was not impaired to the level of causing the crash that killed the child. The attorney pointed to three witnesses at the scene that testified under oath that Heil didn't appear to be impaired. The defense also suggested Marco may have drifted away from the tailgate and into the street.
Heil's attorney, Christopher Spedding, argued earlier in the week that Heil didn't show signs of impairment, such as slurred speech. Spedding also said videos of officers performing field sobriety tests on Heil would indicate he wasn't impaired.
Defense counsel Steve Schroering said the state did not prove its case.
"It would be a different case if in that video he was stumbling or a friend is trying to help him or being obnoxious, belligerent, doing the things we have all seen drunk people do. But he's not," he said. "If you're here you're doing your duty. Your duty in this case under the law and evidence that's been given is really clear. It's not guilty."
The child's mother, Liz Shemwell, testified during the trial that her husband took their sons to the football game that day.
"They were excited to just have a daddy-sons day at the football field," Shemwell said. "Marco especially. He loved football."
Heil told police he drank two beers and had just left tailgating when the crash happened. Heil's fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, was suspended and eventually dissolved after the crash.
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