William Michael Simkins Jr. faces trial in the death of Jacob Broschard, 16, in a hit-and-run in Egg Harbor Township.

Anthony Smedile/July 27, 2011

MAYS LANDING — Jurors got to see and hear the car that fatally struck an Egg Harbor Township teenager in 2010 as the defense in William Simkins Jr.'s vehicular homicide case opened Thursday afternoon.

Simkins, 33, also of the township, is accused of chasing down three teens after one vandalized his mother's car, fatally striking Jacob Broschard at about 2 a.m. Sept. 6, 2010. He left the scene, turning himself into police about two hours later.

Several witnesses have testified about hearing the car accelerate and then a thud as Broschard was struck.

Latest Video

The defense has contended their is no evidence that Simkins chased after the boys, and that Broschard veered into Simkins' path as he rode his bike around a parked car.

Defense attorney Lou Barbone had made a motion to allow the jurors to hear the car for themselves, which Superior Court Judge Michael Donio allowed Thursday, after acting First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton rested her case.

The state's car expert, Tom McNamara, started the car outside and jurors were brought out along with Donio, both attorneys and others, including a few family members the judge allowed to witness the demonstration. He then pressed down on the accelerator with the car in park to show what it sounded like, and then switched the car into drive as it idled. Then back to park. He never moved the car.

Jurors also were allowed to walk around the car to see that damage, which included a large dent to the front passenger side near the headlight, and a round crack in the lower left corner of the windshield, where testimony indicates Broschard hit first before being thrown.

The defense will call its first witness Monday. Barbone has not yet announced whether Simkins will take the stand.

Donio told jurors the trial is ahead of schedule, and closings could be as early as Tuesday, with deliberations possibly starting by Wednesday.

Contact Lynda Cohen:


Follow Lynda Cohen on Twitter @LyndaCohen

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.