CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – The trial of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian has gotten underway.
Thursday marked the beginning of the trial after days of jury selection.
In court, Phillip Barker’s body-worn camera showed the crash at East Morehead Street at Euclid Avenue in July 2017.
Barker was responding to another crash at the time he hit the pedestrian. James Michael Short was immediately killed, his body thrown a significant distance from the location of the collision.
At the center of the trial is whether or not Barker was at fault in the crash that killed him. Records show Barker was going 100mph in a 35mph zone.
Barker’s attorneys argued a mix of alcohol and medication made Short significantly impaired the morning of the crash.
Prosecutors said in court, “this case is about this defendant’s criminally negligent actions.”
Defense attorneys noted, however, “pedestrians have a duty to look both ways.”
Testimony on Thursday also included an expert witness who said that Barker was driving too fast for his headlights, meaning they would have been largely ineffective.
James Short’s brother Josh also testified.
Baker is expected to take the stand at some point during the trial.