Attorney challenges accident report from deadly Slaughter crash

Brett Gerald
Brett Gerald

CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - The accused drunk driver charged with killing seven people was wheeled into court once again for a scheduled discovery hearing, but it was continued until Oct. 9.

Brett Gerald, 30, of Greensburg is charged with seven counts of vehicular homicide following the deadly crash in Slaughter on May 30.

The Gaines, Johnson and Matthews families took to the streets in front of the Clinton court house early Tuesday morning. Clad in matching T-shirts displaying their quest for justice they paraded past cars and patrons asking for support.

Marcus Gaines lost six relatives in the crash.

"We're not going to sleep on this matter. We lost seven family members, and we are going to be here every time he has a court hearing, has a court date. We are going to be here and be here in force," Marcus Gaines said.

The families filed into court, a strong support system right behind them. The accused drunk driver, Brett Gerald, sat in silence as his attorney, Tommy Damico, challenged investigating Louisiana State Senior Trooper Jeff Holly's accident report. It's a piece of evidence Damico said he plans to hire independent professionals to review.

"If there's some kind of intervening negligence on somebody else's part that certainly might be sufficient enough to reduce a vehicular homicide to something less," Damico said.

In court, Damico also asked Trooper Holly, whether Gerald suffered a head injury in the crash. The mere mention was enough to enrage Gaines family friend, Gayle Johnson.

"He hit his head but the seven family members headed to the graveyard. What kind of justice is that? We want justice," Gayle Johnson said.

Relatives of the seven who lost their lives said that means Gerald gets nothing less than a life sentence.

"Put this in your pocket and imagine if you lost your mom, your sister, if you lost your nephew, all at one time," Gaines said.

The attorneys have until October 9th to file and answer motions in the case.

Gerald's trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 10.

Troopers reported Gerald was nearly twice the legal limit when he hit the car containing a family of six and a family friend.

Gerald has pleaded not guilty to all seven counts of vehicular homicide.

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