MAYS LANDING — Jurors will hear closing arguments today in a vehicular homicide trial of an Egg Harbor Township man accused of chasing down three township teens on bikes after one vandalized his mother’s car.
Jacob Broschard, 16, was struck by a car driven William Simkins Jr., 33. Broschard died at the scene at about 2 a.m. Sept. 6, 2010.
Simkins had planned to testify on his own behalf, but decided against it Monday, defense attorney Lou Barbone told the judge.
Barbone has said that there is no evidence Simkins was chasing after the boys when he left his mother’s garage where he was doing work and got into the car. The defense is that Broschard veered into Simkins’ path as he tried to go around a parked car.
“It’s detection recognition,” testified accident reconstructionist Frank Costanzo, the defense’s only witness.”He doesn’t have enough time to detect and recognize the events.”
Instead, Simkins would have taken 152 to 180 feet to stop in time. But, acting First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton pointed out during cross-examination, a stop sign was also within that distance, meaning Simkins couldn’t have stopped for that either.
“I don’t think it takes (that distance) to come to a controlled stop,” Costanzo said. “They are two different scenarios.”
Township Officer Kevin Devlin — a rebuttal witness for the prosecution — had a different understanding.
“What he essentially says is, he can’t stop for the stop sign,” said the officer, who investigated the crash and testified earlier in the trial.
Costanzo also said township police used the incorrect formula in calculating Simkins’ speed at the time of the crash — putting it at 45 to 55 mph — and in saying Broschard was thrown 152 feet.
“He basically slides down the side of the vehicle,” Costanzo said. “He was not thrown, he slid.”
Devlin, however disputed Constanzo’s claims that Simkins was only traveling 30 to 34 mph.
Much of the day was spent deciding what evidence may be given to the jurors when they begin their deliberations. Closing arguments are expected to begin sometime in the morning before Superior Court Judge Michael Donio. Then, the jurors will be instructed by the judge before beginning deliberations.
In addition to a vehicular homicide charge, Simkins is also accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and endangering an injured person.
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