MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 22, 2013

Testimony wraps in motorcycle deaths

Verdict not expected until August in case

A verdict in the case of the woman who is charged with hitting a motorcycle and killing an Arkansas couple near Warner won’t come until August.

Testimony in the case of Glenna Lewis, who is charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of Charles Taylor, 45, and Monette Taylor, 43, of Arkansas, concluded Friday afternoon.

Special District Court Judge Robin Adair, who heard the case in a non-jury trial, said he will not render his verdict until Aug. 7.

The trial began Thursday with testimony from state’s witnesses, including several Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers and a woman who witnessed the wreck July 19, 2011.

Day two of the trial began with testimony from Glenna Lewis’ auto mechanic about troubles she had with her car 10 days prior to the fatal wreck. Then, Lewis took the stand and told her story.

Speaking quietly, Lewis said she “topped the hill” on U.S. 64 about two miles north of Warner that day and saw the motorcycle in the right lane, and she was in the left lane.

She glanced away from the road momentarily to look at her gauges, then looked back up. She didn’t see anything on the road ahead of her, Lewis said.

Then, she heard a noise to her right and glanced that way, she said, and at the same time felt “something come under my car on the left side, and I thought I hit an animal.”

Lewis’ sport utility vehicle hit the back of the motorcycle in the far left side of her lane.

Timothy Leggett of Canada was called to the stand by the defense as an expert in accident reconstruction.

Leggett said his calculations indicated Lewis was traveling about 73 mph, the motorcycle was traveling about 33 mph and the motorcycle only needed 1.5 seconds to move from the right lane to the left.

The expert said Lewis needed two to four seconds to glance away and look back up.

“I believe you can certainly see how this could happen given the speeds we are dealing with here,” Leggett said.

Lewis also testified about the impact the wreck has had on her life.

She said she has nightmares, is taking medication, receiving counseling and has difficulty working on certain cases at work in her role as a nurse because of what she saw that day.

“That day on the highway I felt a part of me die with them,” Lewis said, crying. “I prayed for them because I didn’t know if they were going to go to Heaven.”

During her testimony, the judge called a recess to give Lewis a break, during which she hung her head and sobbed.

Later, Lewis testified she mows and places flowers at Charles Taylor’s grave, has a tattoo in memory of the couple who died and placed crosses along the side of the road where “their bodies rested on the highway.”

A conviction of misdemeanor negligent homicide carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine per count. Additionally, anyone who is convicted of negligent homicide in Oklahoma will have his or her license revoked, according to state law.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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