Closing arguments are due shortly in the Iroquois County trial of a Watseka man facing charges for a traffic crash that left another man dead and injured the victim’s grandson.
20-year-old Dakota Papineau is standing trial for the July 2014 crash that killed David Senesac. Senesac’s six-year-old grandson, Landon Shaw, also suffered serious injury.
The accident happened in rural Crescent City at the intersection of 1600E and 1900N.
This afternoon, Circuit Judge James Kinzer denied a direct verdict of acquittal.
The judge earlier today also denied a defense motion for a mistrial. Defense attorney Tony Brasel balked about a statement Iroquois County Sheriff deputy Pat McNally made to the jury that his questioning of the defendant stopped when he learned Dakota Papineau had contacted an attorney.
Brasel argued that statement had prejudiced the jury, assuming guilt.
After that discussion outside the court and case reviews, Kinzer denied the request, instead instructing the jury to disregard.
Brasel also asked for a direct verdict....saying agreed on stipulations that no alcohol or drugs were involved, so the state’s charges of aggravated reckless driving have not merit. He also said running a stop sign doesn’t constitute reckless behavior.
State’s Atty Devine countered saying, deputy McNally’s report indicated there was no ski marks showing attempt to stop and witnesses saying they told Papineau to stop as he approached the intersection.
The judge ruled there was enuf evidence to present the case to the jury.
A 2014 traffic death in Iroquois County finds a Watseka man standing trial this week. 20-year-old Dakota Papineau is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving. A crash west of Watseka killed David Senesac of Watseka. Senesac's six-year-old grandson was also seriously injured.
A jury was seated and opening statements by counsel were delivered. Testimony will continue today (Wednesday) before Circuit Judge James Kinzer.
Several friends who were with Papineau the evening of July 23, 2014 are expected to testify. The traffic crash occurred at 1900N and 1600E.
State's Attorney Jim Devine and his assistant, Karea Macz, are prosecuting. Papineau is represented by Bourbonnais attorney Tony Brasel and his son, Trey.
Devine told the jury the accident was due to Papineau's reckless behavior behind the wheel. Brasel said he won't dispute much of the evidence, but he called it a "tragic accident."
There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, results from the state crime lab came back negative for both alcohol and drugs.