Body camera video sheds light into wrong way crash that killed father
For the first time, we're seeing police body camera video from the scene of a wrong-way crash that killed a local father.
The video was shown during a court hearing for Justin Whaley, a former reserve deputy and EMT.
He's accused of driving under the influence and causing the crash that killed James Brumlow in July 2018.
Whaley has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
OFFICER: "Right now we're going to place you in custody for reckless endangerment. It's a mandatory blood draw. Are you?"
WHALEY: "That's fine. I agree to that."
According to an arrest affidavit, Whaley called 911 moments after the crash and told dispatchers he had been drinking with a friend the night before.
Body camera video shows officers speaking with Whaley on the scene.
OFFICER: "Do you remember what you said on the 911?"
WHALEY: "Yes, I told them to start LifeForce, that there was going to be entrapment. That it was my fault, my fault. I don't know how I ended up in the wrong lane, on the wrong side."
In the video, officers ask Whaley if he was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol and he replied no.
Brumlow's family sat in the courtroom while the video was being shown.
They've accused those involved in the case of giving Whaley special treatment because of his status as a former reserve deputy and EMT.
They told Channel 3 after Wednesday's hearing, what was seen in the video confirmed their suspicions.
The video showed the officer placing Whaley in handcuffs in the front of his body and walking to the officer's patrol car.
OFFICER: "I'm going to try and block anybody from seeing you in handcuffs, alright?"
OFFICER: "Well, I mean. I have a lot of respect for you."
While on the scene, Whaley asked the officer if he could text his wife and let her know what was going on. The officer allowed him.
The officer is seen patting Whaley down before getting in the patrol car.
Once the officer gets into the patrol car, he tells Whaley he got a text on Whaley's phone. Whaley asked the officer to read it to him.
It's unclear who the text is from, but it asks if they need to contact an attorney.
OFFICER: "I'll tell you what. I'm not going to put you into any bad positions, alright?"
Both men are quiet as the officer drives and a few seconds later, the officer is seen turning the body camera off.
Defense attorneys questioned Officer Jeremy Wright, trying to find out at what point officers decided to investigate the crash as a DUI instead of reckless endangerment.
"I was under the impression at that time that he was going to be charged with reckless endangerment at the very least and then we were going to investigate further from that point with the blood draw and all that to see if there's other charges," Wright said on the stand.
Whaley's blood was taken four hours after the crash and showed his blood-alcohol level was .02%, which is below the legal limit.
Defense attorney Lee Davis questioned Wright for not taking Whaley's blood sooner, Wright testified he was just following orders.
"I was told to prepare a search warrant for blood. So I prepared a search warrant for blood," Wright said.
The judge will take all of the evidence and testimony from this hearing and last week's hearing and decide what is allowed during Whaley's trial which is set for January.