Nearly two years ago on Friday, December 5, 2014, Everson resident Brian Jeffery Smith was heading home from a company Christmas party, followed by dinner with his wife, when he struck an oncoming motorcyclist who later died during surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital.
Claiming he only had one beer that night, he was taken into custody for suspected drunk driving, and now, almost two years later, Smith is standing trial for vehicular homicide — one of the most serious of crimes as a class A felony.
After six days of witnesses and testimony, both the defense and the prosecution presented their closing arguments today, and it's now up to the jury to decide the outcome.
The range of punishment for vehicular homicide is largely determined by the driver's "prior" history and the circumstances leading up to the death of another person. A mandatory two years is added to each prior offense, if any, when vehicular homicide is committed by a driver who is DUI, punctuating the seriousness of the offense.
Follow the story as reported by the Bellingham Herald:
December 06, 2014: Motorcyclist killed in Everson; suspected drunk driver arrested
December 11, 2014: Charges: Drunk driver who killed Everson motorcyclist claimed religion bans blood draws
November 12, 2016: Trial opens in fatal crash where Everson driver refused blood draw due to religion
November 20, 2016: Defense witnesses testify for Everson driver on trial for death of motorcyclist
November 22, 2016: Defendant in deadly Everson crash testifies he had one Budweiser, and no more