WEST JORDAN A four-day trial has been scheduled for a Taylorsville police officer accused of negligent homicide.
Defense attorney Ed Brass requested Tuesday that 3rd District Court Judge Robert Adkins set a four-day trial for Joseph Corbett. The trial was scheduled to begin March 18.
Corbett is accused of hitting and killing 27-year-old John Terry Douglas of Tooele on Feb. 7 at the intersection of 4700 South and Redwood Road. Corbett was responding with lights and sirens to help other officers involved in a high-speed chase at about 12:40 a.m., although he was not part of the chase himself. Corbett was getting in position to lay tire spikes.
Several recent rulings have appeared to significantly weaken the prosecution's case against Corbett. Adkins earlier ruled that evidence suggesting Douglas was driving while text messaging and was possibly under the influence of the powerful painkiller Tramadol would be allowed in court. Furthermore, Adkins ruled the state cannot submit the Taylorsville Police Department's own chase policy as evidence, saying it did not override the state policy for chases.
Prosecutors for the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office have argued that whether or not Douglas was taking pain medications or texting was irrelevant, because Corbett caused the accident by running a red light.
Brass said a jury has the right to consider all the circumstances surrounding a crash, including the possible reasons why Douglas failed to yield. There is also a question of whether Corbett actually ran a red light.A pre-trial conference was scheduled for Jan. 3.