lagrangenews.com

Trial begins for man accused of tampering with evidence in fatal wreck

Steena Hymes shymes@civitasmedia.com

March 5, 2014

Proceedings began Tuesday in the jury trial for Timothy Ferguson who is facing charges of tampering with evidence and obstruction of officers in the April 2013 fatal car accident involving two teenagers, one of whom was his son.


Ferguson allegedly took three beer cans from the scene and destroyed them.


Before the jury was assembled, the court held one last motion hearing. LaGrange Police Lt. Dale Strickland and Detective Hilton Swanson were called as witnesses to recount the day of the accident and the day search and arrest warrants were delivered to Ferguson.


Friends and family of both Ferguson and the victim’s family watched as witness testimony and evidence was brought forward.


In Swanson’s testimony, he stated that on April 13, 2013, when he arrived on the scene, the destroyed car and the body of Chris Mabe were found and the other teen was no longer at the scene. It was found that the car belonged to Ferguson.


“It looked like a bomb went off, there were pieces everywhere,” he said.


His testimony revealed that three witnesses were at the scene and it was they who made the 911 call. Two of the witnesses reported seeing Ferguson and his son come back to the scene, grab a case with three beer cans and place it in their truck.


Swanson stated that these three witnesses asked if anybody else was in the car, to which Ferguson said no.


Strickland gave his testimony next on the execution of the search and arrest warrants on April 14. He was wearing a video camera device which was used as evidence.


In the video, a quiet Ferguson is shown, denying any fault. Later in the video, however, a fire smouldering from a fire pit in the back yard is seen with burnt beer cans inside. These cans were collected as evidence.


After the video, in what could have been a hit to the prosecution, Judge Blackmon stated that no Miranda Rights were administered prior to police asking the defendant questions causing any statements from Ferguson to be excluded from the case.


However, it was found that there would have been inevitable discovery of evidence either way, so the judge ruled that the found evidence was still valid.


The prosecution and defense deliberated for a lengthy time on if a plea resolution was possible, but came back without one causing the case to go into a jury trial. Jury selection has begun and the case will head forward today and possibly throughout the rest of the week.