Experts take the stand in Hastings trial
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It was a battle of expert witnesses on day five of the manslaughter trial of a former police officer.
Josh Hastings shot and killed 15-year-old Bobby Moore, III in August. He claimed it was in self defense because the teen was driving at him and, even after shooting Moore, he still had to jump out of the way of the moving vehicle.
In Hastings' version of the story, the car continued moving up a nearby embankment before it eventually rolled back down until coming to a stop behind where it was during the shooting.
Two reconstruction experts took the stand Friday - one hired by the prosecution and one hired by the defense. The prosecution's expert testified that while the Honda Civic did have scratches, nothing on the front bumper, rims, tires or undercarriage showed no signs of hitting a rocky embankment. The defense's expert said exactly the opposite -- that there were obvious scratches and leaves stuck in the undercarriage, consistent with hitting an embankment.
The defense's expert said he also did several tests with two other Civics. He told jurors that based on those tests, Hastings' account could have happened because they showed the same damage as what he found on Moore's car.
While Hastings has long held that his actions were in self defense, jurors cannot consider that. Hastings is charged with manslaughter, which - by definition - would mean that Hastings acted recklessly while self defense means that he acted reasonably. Because of that, jurors on this case do not have self defense as on option - only whether or not Hastings acted recklessly.
The trial is expected to continue Saturday at 9:00 a.m.