Jury now deliberating in Sabine County negligent homicide trial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Jury now deliberating in Sabine County negligent homicide trial

Johnnie Sampson (Source: Jasper County Jail) Johnnie Sampson (Source: Jasper County Jail)
Larry Fike (Source: Fike family) Larry Fike (Source: Fike family)
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) -

During the second day of the negligent homicide trial for a man accused of driving a pickup that ran a stop sign and rear-ended at an 18-wheeler in 2014, both the state and the defense made their closing arguments.

In his closing arguments, Sabine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton told the jury that the state presented plenty of evidence to suggest that Sampson was behind the wheel during the time of the crash, which occurred on September 30, 2014. 

Dutton said that case boils down to who was driving and through witness testimony, there was plenty of evidence that leaves no room for questions or doubt. Dutton said it's not possible for Larry Fike, the man who died at the scene, to be ejected from the driver's side of the truck. 

The defense attorney, Julie Conn, argued that even through witness testimony there were conflicting answers from at least two of the witnesses when they said that Sampson may have been in the backseat or in the middle part of the truck. 

She argued that there isn't enough evidence to suggest that Sampson was driving at the time of the crash and the state had not presented enough proof. Conn also said the state hadn't disproved the testimonies that Sampson was in the backseat.

The jury started deliberating after the state and defense attorneys made their closing arguments.

After the state rested their case Monday, the defense presented two witnesses to testify on Sampson’s behalf. Both people told the jury that at the time Sampson was in the hospital, he was under medication but was seated and eating a meal. It was at this time, an aunt to Sampson told the jury that Sampson had said in the hospital room to her that he had been driving that day, but not during the time of the wreck.

During the investigation three years ago, authorities said Fike, of Caldwell, died at the crash site that happened in the Brookeland area back in September 2014. Sampson was also in the 1995 GMC Sierra pickup truck when, according to authorities, they ran a stop sign and crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler.

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