The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

February 15, 2014

Gray, 19, found guilty of manslaughter in trial



Sokolowski also pointed out that there was no evidence of mechanical failure or any kind of recall on the vehicle, as alluded to by the defense.

“Because of his intoxication, he caused the death of Cheyenne Franklin,” he said.

In his closing argument, Scarbrough spoke to the jury about burden of proof, reminding them that it had the sole responsibility of the state to provide enough evidence to convict (or not) the defendant.

He pointed out the inaccuracies that can come from blood-alcohol testing as well as the method by which information was taken for his client's Miranda Warning report, also reminding the jury of the emotional issues surrounding the case.

“It is scientifically impossible to tell where Mr. Gray's blood-alcohol level was at the time or prior to the crash,” Scarbrough said. “Padilla didn't even perform the blood test, he only testified as to the results.

“Gray's injuries were not documented on the report,” the attorney added. “Trooper Lynn Hubert claims that he wrote down exactly what Gray said to him, asking if he was intoxicated after he had been told since the crash that he was.

“It is a terrible thing — a very emotional thing for the families on both sides,” he said. “But it is not your job to judge emotion, but what the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The final phase of the trial, the punishment phase, began at about 2:15 p.m. Friday. And after hearing just under six hours of testimony, the jury entered deliberations for that phase at about 8 p.m. Friday.

(Note: Due to Herald-Press deadlines, the sentencing verdict could not be published in this issue, but will be made available online and in a future printed edition of the newspaper.)

Testifying for the state during punishment were Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Philip Davis, who knew the family and told them of Franklin's death; Franklin's two sisters, Hope and Faith; and her parents, Curtis “Beaver” and Lana Franklin.

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