A Carson City man was acquitted on a felony count and found guilty of misdemeanor DUI Wednesday night in district court following a July 2012 incident on Winnie Lane that sent a jogger to the hospital via Care Flight.
Stefan Davis, 19, told deputies following the crash he had drunk beer the night before and had smoked four bowls of marijuana, according to the arrest report.
Davis was acquitted by the 12-person jury on the felony count of DUI causing substantial bodily harm but found guilty of DUI. It took the jury an hour and a half to come to its verdict.
Deputy District Attorney Travis Lucia told jurors in his closing arguments that Davis had many times the legal limit of marijuana for drivers in his system after a blood draw, done after the accident, was performed.
Deputies on the scene said Davis had red, watery eyes and dry mouth, both indicators of marijuana use, and smelled like the substance.
The defense and prosecution both spoke at length to the jury about due care in their closing arguments. Davis did not exercise due care, leading to the hit jogger, Lucia told the jury.
Lucia, speaking in a calm and steady cadence, walked the jurors through each part of the charge against Davis, highlighting the evidence and testimony presented and how the state had proved each element.
The first non-involved person to come across the scene described Davis as “dazed and confused,” Lucia told the jurors. Davis told deputies he drank and smoked the night before, he reiterated.
No determination of Davis’ speed was made, although it was presumed to be an estimated 20-25 mph by expert accident reconstructionist Shawn McMenomy, called by the defense, Larry Dunn.
Speed does not determine due care, Lucia told the jury.
“He failed to exercise due care,” he said. “We’ve met the elements. You have the facts.”
Acting the firebrand to Lucia’s calm and cool demeanor, Dunn told the jurors there was not enough evidence to find him guilty of not exercising due care.
“Due care is not an abstract concept,” he said. “It’s a driving offense. It’s a speeding violation, requiring you to go at a certain (slower) speed” depending on the conditions.
The jogger was at fault for being on the wrong side of the road, he told the jury in a raised voice.
“What act did he do, did he fail to do? How can you prove due care?” he rhetorically asked the jury, before changing, acknowledging he asked many of the questions to thin air. “The pedestrian was violating the law” by running the direction of traffic, not against it. “It’s illegal. It creates a hazard.”
It is unknown whether Davis will be sentenced in justice court or in district court, where the trial was held.
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