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Graphic Photos, Contested Evidence at Center of Anderson Trial

The case against a Milford ex-cop accused in the deaths of Orange teens continues as defense pushes hard on evidence and questions testimony.

Graphic Photos, Contested Evidence at Center of Anderson Trial

 

Now that the high-profile trial of a former Milford police officer accused in the deaths of two Orange teens is finally underway, defense attorney Hugh Keefe has been vocal in his objections over the last two days.

Keefe is representing Jason Anderson, who has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter stemming from a fatal crash in Orange at the intersection of the Boston Post Road and Dogwood Avenue at 2:14 a.m. on June 13, 2009.

On Tuesday, jurors saw camera footage of the collision from inside an officer's vehicle and photos of cars after the collision. (Anderson was allegedly going 94 m.p.h. at the time of the crash.) On Wednesday, Keefe repeatedly objected to permitting the display of a grisly accident photo of 19-year-old David Servin, still in the car's driver seat, as well as autopsy photos of 19-year-old Ashlie Krakowski. Both were killed in the collision.

Keefe told Patch showing the jury the accident photo was "inflammatory and highly biased."

"What it was being offered for was to show that he was the driver of the car," said Keefe. "We can see that he's the driver of the car. He also said he was offering it for identification. We can see it's Mr. Servin. He was really offering it because it was emotionally charged and would appeal to the sympathies of the jurors."

State's Attorney Kevin Lawlor told the court the photos were necessary to corroborate testimony from Dr. Wayne Carver, Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner. Ultimately, Judge Denis Markle allowed the jury to see the photos.

Anderson's defense has countered by focusing on evidence that links Servin with drugs and alcohol. Dr. Carver told the court Servin's blood alcohol content was 0.14% at the time of his death, and according to the Connecticut Post, Servin was in possession of marijuana at the time.

At the end of the day, Anderson's defense brought into question eyewitness Shamily Le Cleres, who saw the crash while leaving a pool hall with friends. Le Cleres apparently revised some details in her 2009 testimony before her court appearance, calling into question which police car had had its emergency lights on. Judge Markle said she was "confused" by the changes in Le Cleres' testimony, and Keefe moved to have the entire testimony stricken from the record.

Keefe also contested Le Cleres' description of Anderson's speed. Eventually, Le Cleres told jurors the car was "flying down the street."

Markle said she would consider striking the testimony from the record Wednesday night, and would revisit the issue when the trial resumes Thursday morning.

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