RICHMOND, VA—A jury heard opening arguments on Monday in the trial of the Richmond man charged after a deadly hit-and-run wreck. On Tuesday, Elias Webb took the stand in his own defense.
Elias Webb, 30, was charged with one count of felony hit and run in connection with the July 2012 death of 24-year-old bicyclist Lanie Kruszewski.
On Tuesday, Webb told the jury that although he'd had a glass and a half of wine with dinner the night of the accident, he was absolutely not impaired.
He testified that an online article he read the morning after the fatal crash made him start to think the worst. He said he went back out to his vehicle and realized that there was no way he had hit a deer the night before, as he thought initially.
He went on to tell the court that he "freaked out," grabbed a golf club and smashed the rest of his windshield, which was already damaged from the crash the night before. He then went inside, laid down and cried.
He said that during this time, he even thought of harming himself.
A jury of four men and 10 women was seated in the trial Monday.
Webb's lawyer on Monday told the jury his client was looking down at his phone to make a call when the wreck happened, saying Webb never saw that he'd struck a person. Webb is expected to take the stand later this week.
Webb admitted he was driving the vehicle and turned himself into police a week after the wreck.
Recently released court documents show Webb had been drinking alcohol the night of the crash.
Prosecutors also said Webb's car sustained damage on the hood and windshield, and that Kruszewksi's blood, hair and clothing were found on the windshield.
Kruszewksi was wearing reflective clothing and had lights on the bike she was riding. The prosecution said her body was found 109 feet from where she was struck by the SUV Webb was driving.
The prosecution has shown Webb's lengthy driving record includes 11 citations since 2000—five of those for spending. He has no criminal history.
Lanie Kruszewski, 24, was riding her bike eastbound on River Road when police say a vehicle traveling in the same direction struck her. The vehicle continued without stopping.
Webb faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the felony hit-and-run charge. Webb was released on $200,000 bond in August.
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