Prosecutors in the case against a Taylorsville police officer accused of negligent homicide have filed three motions to get some of the defense's expected testimony taken out and some of their own new elements added.
Officer Joseph Corbett was charged with negligent homicide after a two-car accident at the intersection of 4700 South and Redwood Road resulted in the death of John Terry Douglas, 27, of Tooele.
Corbett was responding on Feb. 7, 2007, with lights and sirens about 12:40 a.m. to help other officers involved in a high-speed chase when the crash happened. He was trying to get ahead of the chase to lay tire spikes to stop the suspect, although he was not part of the chase.
In October, 3rd District Judge Robert Adkins ruled the defense would be allowed to present evidence suggesting possible impaired and distracted driving on Douglas' part.
Court documents filed by the defense say Douglas was text messaging and possibly under the influence of the powerful painkiller Tramadol at the time of the crash.
In September, Adkins ruled the Taylorsville Police Department's own policy regarding pursuits could not be admitted as evidence by the prosecution because department policy did not hold the same weight as state law. If that were the case, there could potentially be as many chase statutes in the county as police jurisdictions, he said.
Last week, Christopher Bown with the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office filed a motion in another attempt to have testimony about Tramadol excluded.
A second motion was filed asking the judge to allow prosecutors to introduce the Department of Public Safety's emergency driving protocol.
Prosecutors argued in court documents that the DPS policy "provides the 'minimum standards for all emergency pursuit policies that are adopted by public agencies authorized to operate emergency vehicles.' Unlike the Taylorsville policy, it is a policy that all agencies must have at a minimum ... "
A third motion seeks to introduce evidence that Corbett was an emergency vehicle operations trainer for Taylorsville Police."That information is relevant because it shows the knowledge and training that the defendant possessed at the time of the crash," court documents stated. A motion hearing is set for March 12, with a four-day trial scheduled the next week.
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