Manslaughter trial begins in Grand Lake boating death
Brian Smith, of Tahlequah, was the first witness called in Roger Shane Carroll's manslaughter trial. Carroll is accused of manslaughter in the death of Monte Price, 39, of Jay, after a boat crash on Grand Lake on July 29, 2012.
JAY — One of the surviving passengers of a Grand Lake boating accident broke down periodically Monday and wiped the tears from his eyes while testifying about the crash that took the life of his cousin.
Brian Smith, of Tahlequah, was the first witness called in Roger Shane Carroll's manslaughter trial.
Carroll, 39, of Eucha, the Jay Middle School principal, is charged with manslaughter in the death of Monte Price, 39, of Jay.
Brett Chapman, assistant district attorney for Cherokee County, delivered his opening statements after jury of six men and six women were chosen.
Delaware County District Attorney Eddie Wyant recused himself from the case citing a conflict of interest.
The trial is expected to last up to 10 days.
Winston Connor II, Carroll's attorney, said Carroll was not operating the boat when it crashed into a breakwater structure near Arrowhead South Marina about 2 a.m. July 29.
Smith was on the stand for almost three hours, testifying about where the passengers were seated on the boat. He testified Carroll was driving the boat, and told how much alcohol was consumed that night at a wedding reception.
“We drank moonshine and beer — we were having a good time,” Smith testified.
Smith testified the group began drinking about 7 p.m. He said they stopped at a convenience story to purchase an 18-can pack of beer and three bottles of water.
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