Testimony continues in fatal DWI crash trial

November 16, 2010 9:00:00 PM PST
During the second day of testimony in the trial of a Wake County man accused of DWI and second degree murder, a Raleigh woman recalled the death of her friend.Investigators say Eddie Ogburn, 28, was killed by Cory Henderson, who was speeding and drunk.

The accident happened in the early morning hours of August 30, 2009 as Ogburn was turning left into the entrance of his subdivision on Old Wake Forest Road.

Kristen Knutson, 30, was in the passenger seat and another friend, Jenny Ragone, was in the back of Ogburn's Jeep Cherokee.

"There was a loud bang that came out of nowhere," she said. "I had idea what it was. Glass started spinning everywhere, debris flying. I had ... I was ... I had no idea what had happened."

Knutson says she soon realized Ogburn and Ragone were unconscious.

A short time later Ragone came to, but Knutson says it was obvious Ogburn was critically injured when the impact pushed him right up against her.

"So close I could almost cradle him," Knutson said. "I had his head and I was holding it."

She says she's emotionally scarred for life.

"At the time he needed me most there was nothing I could do and it's the worst feeling," Knutson said. "I think about that all the time."

Raleigh police also testified that Henderson was drunk and fighting at a bar just before the crash. They said they told him not to drive, but saw him take off anyway.

As they tried to catch up to him, he crashed into Ogburn's car and then ran into some nearby woods before they caught him.

"The odor of alcohol was so strong coming from the defendant, I actually had to roll my windows down," Raleigh Police Officer J.D. Rattelade said.

Hours later, Henderson's blood alcohol was still five points over the legal limit.

Henderson's attorneys also asked both the women who were out with Ogburn that night how much Ogburn had to drink. They estimated three beers and an autopsy showed Ogburn's blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit.

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