Spangler Jury Begins Deliberating

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

The jury in the Todd Spangler manslaughter case went into deliberations just before noon today. The six men and six women will decide if the crash that killed Jennifer Dwyer was just an accident, or a criminal act.

During closing arguments this morning the prosecution used words such as ridiculous, ludicrous and laughable to describe the defense argument that this was simply an accident.

Todd Spangler was twice the legal definition of drunk last June, and authorities say he was "showing off" when he took a hard turn in his boat and sent his wife and Jennifer Dwyer into the dock.

Leaving the courtroom this morning Todd Spangler is aware that his future rests in the hands of the jury.

His wife Kimberly took the stand earlier in the day but according to the prosecutor's closing argument the jury should discard her testimony because she remembered only what she wanted to remember about the accident.

Kimberly Spangler told the court that she remembers letting go of the tube, bouncing in the water and hitting the dock. Matt Kuhse told the jury that goes against all the witness testimony heard during the trial.

But the defense claims that testimony, and the lack of physical evidence hurts the state's case and actually supports Spangler.

James Martin Davis says, "Their theory was that the tube hit the deck while the girl's were on it there was no evidence at all to corroborate that there was no wood splinters there was no damage to the tube."

Matt Kuhse told the jury that the case was very simple, Todd Spangler was drunk, he was driving a boat and he killed someone. Kuhse told the jury the defense actually helped the state's case by admitting to boating under the influence.

Davis doesn't see it that way.

James Martin Davis says, "He was driving the boat but he didn't cause that wake and he didn't cause the ladies to fly off that tube and you just can't take an accident and try to turn it into a crime."

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