Defense wraps up case without Alex West testifying

May 03, 2017 05:44 PM

On Day 12 of the Alex West manslaughter trial, the defense wrapped its case without testimony from the defendant. 

Judge John Hall asked 25-year-old Alex West if he was going to take the stand in his own defense. West said simply, "I won't be testifying."

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His attorney saying after that West would've made a very good witness, but she couldn't take the chance that during testimony the jury would learn about toxicology tests which showed West had cocaine, pot and ecstasy in his blood. 

"No prudent lawyer would have made the decision for him to testify knowing those results loomed very large in the background," explained Defense Attorney Cheryl Coleman.

WEB EXTRA: Alex West's defense attorney, Cheryl Coleman, speaks with reporters

Coleman again asked the judge to dismiss all charges saying the people failed to prove West was reckless or impaired. 

"Here's what they proved beyond a reasonable doubt. That my client was holding a beer. Nobody testifies that he was impaired," asserted Coleman.

The judge denying the motion to dismiss. 

Prosecutors say West was drunk and high after a day of partying at Log Bay Day, and they say testimony proved he was driving recklessly when he drove his father's speed boat into Robert Knarr's wooden boat. 

Lawyers will give summations Thursday. It's worth noting that they'll be using a larger courtroom to accommodate what's expected to be a lot of people interested in watching. Our camera will be rolling.


WNYT Staff

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