CHARLOTTE – Jurors heard from the defendant, 23-year-old Leah Walton, for the first time Wednesday as prosecutors played a videotaped interview between Walton and a crash investigator.
Walton is on trial for killing one person and seriously injuring another in a crash in August 2010.
Officer Mark Jadolcki reconstructed the crash and says Walton was driving at least 37 mph when she hit the two women. The speed limit on Craig Avenue is 30 mph.
“I didn't know what the first bump was, a person or if the first bump was me running up on the curb,” said Walton in the 2010 recorded interview.
In the recording, Walton told the detective she was reaching for her cigarettes at the time of the accident. She says she didn't realize what happened until she put her car in park and got out.
“I had no idea what had happened until I saw the blood,” added Walton.
Detective Jesse Wood told jurors how Walton admitted to drinking a few beers and smoking marijuana the night before. Investigators found a glass pipe, a green leafy substance and rolling papers in her car.
Jadolcki says Walton's car traveled nearly 100 feet on the sidewalk before impact. He says Lisa McIe was thrown 98 feet and Susan Karabulut was dragged at least 100 feet. Jadolcki also told jurors what he says he heard Walton say right before she was taken to jail.
“I heard her say 'this is so unfair, those [expletive] sitting on the curb with their feet in the road and I have to go to jail,'” said Jadolcki.
Walton could face a minimum of three and a half years in prison if convicted. Her defense attorney says she's cooperated from the beginning, has taken responsibility for taking her eyes off the road and never intended to hurt anyone.
Prosecutors will take the jury to the site of the deadly crash Thursday morning.