Guilty Verdict In DUI Murder Trial

Guilty of murder: that's the verdict from a Whitley County jury in the case of a man charged in a deadly DUI crash.

Raymond garner was drunk, when his pick-up crashed into three other vehicles on I-75 last summer. The crash killed a boy, a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

On Wednesday morning, the prosecution called several witnesses that testified that Garner had alcohol in his system.

An expert who examined the black box in Garner's truck says the truck was going 90 mph at the time of the crash and the brakes were never applied.

After the prosecution rested its case, the defense called just two witnesses, Garner's brother and Garner himself.

Garner testified that he drank 6 beers before driving and admitted that he was drinking a cup of wine in his truck just before the accident. He says he never meant to hurt anyone.

The jury took only 35 minutes to return a guilty verdict on murder, assault and fetal homicide charges. The jury recommended a life sentence. That was the maximum option.

Formal sentencing will be held on September 8th.


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  • by whocares Location: bite me on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM
    Anyone who makes the decision to get drunk off their [edited] and drive deserves the full punishment for lives taken by their actions. I mean it's like me shooting a gun into the woods that I know their are houses in. Oh I didn't mean it, sorry little Timmy's laying on ur lawn with a hole in his head.
  • by Karen on Dec 10, 2008 at 06:07 AM
    Dawn: Just to let you know that he destroyed more then just 3 lives. He destroyed the lives of the people that survived the accident along with the families that have to deal with the loss of their loved ones. I don't think hate is being spread.
  • by Anna on Dec 8, 2008 at 06:57 PM
    Just to let you know that not only did he have a suspended license in Kentucky but he drove to Tennessee and they issued hi a valid driver's license and never bothered to do a search on his driving history. He also transferred his auto insurance to Tennessee. I don't feel sorry for him at all. He needs to remain in jail so he does not destroy any other lives. He had a drunk driving record a mile long. Just remember that Nicky and do not get to see Gussie's smile, hold him, kiss him or tell him face to face how much we love him. My son was taken from me because of one man's very very bad decision.....and that was to drink and drive. Not to mention that the state of Kentucky did not do their job!
  • by Anna Location: Park Ridge on Dec 6, 2008 at 06:51 PM
    I am Gussie's mother. This man has destroyed our lives. My son (Nicky) and I struggle everyday. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing I have to be there for Nicky and help him. Gussie was a sweet, kind, loving little boy. Nicky and Gussie were best friends. We Miss Him so much!
  • by lauran Location: USA on Sep 18, 2008 at 01:03 AM
    It is a interesting article.I feel sad that he got a punishment of life sentence. ----------------- laruan Dui In California
  • by Sophia on Aug 5, 2008 at 02:13 PM
    I would like to correct my last post and say that because Mr. Garner had his license taken away from him because of his prior DUI's, he should have had a sober person drive him to his destination. Instead, he chose to violate the law once again, ply himself with the drugs of alcohol and valium all day, get behind the wheel and drink the drug while driving that night, and destroy lives and families, including his own. No hate here, just no pity for drunk drivers!
  • by Sophia on Aug 5, 2008 at 11:34 AM
    Of course Mr.Garner admitted his guilt, because the evidence proved overwhelmingly that he's guilty. But, the night of the crash, he told EMT's that he picked up a hitchhiker, and the hitchhiker was driving when the crash happened, and ran away after the crash, so Garner tried to lay blame on someone else. Didn't he plead not guilty to the charges? He also said to police or EMT's that he lost everything he owned in the crash. Um, what about those who lost their LIVES in the crash? Didn't THEY lose everything? I don't see hate on the part of some of the posters here, but sadness, grief, loss, and anger. Maybe in time they will be able to forgive, but as the grandmother of Gus posted, "We will never be happy again. The loss is TOO great for our family." Yes, alcohol is a drug, and knowing this, Garner should have stayed at home that night and waited until he was sober to drive on a busy highway. Instead, he plied himself with this drug all day and killed 3. No pity for drunk drivers!
  • by dawn Location: kentucky on Aug 4, 2008 at 10:07 PM
    My heart breaks for the families in the crash.I know how hard it is to deal with the death of someone you are so close to. This being said,I don't think it helps anything to spread more hate by what is being said about Mr. Garner. It wasn't wrong of him to say he was sorry and at least he admitted his guilt. What we should take away from this is the message he himself has said he's learned. Alcohol is a drug and should be thought of that way. It destroyed the lives of the three people taken away and now destroys his life everyday with the guilt he lives with. I know he should be punished and he is going to be and he already has been. Please don't say he has no respect for human life because he does. He made a mistake that had deadly consequences and he knows that and lives with that. Pray for the families that had loved ones taken away that they may find comfort. Please stop spreading the hateful words. The world is filled with that. It only breeds more hate.
  • by JUST!!! on Aug 4, 2008 at 12:22 PM
    As a family member of 8 year old Gus Pontikis who died, Garner gets no sympathy from us at all. Prior DUIs, driving under a suspended license, drinking the entire day of the accident, taking valium, drinking wine while driving in his truck the night of the accident...to us this shows a total disregard for human life! His brother John testified that he was drinking with Garner that day...why didn't his brother prevent Raymond from getting in the truck and driving? Why not take the keys from him? His brother John is just as guilty. Countless lives and families destroyed and in agony, and for what? Because the Garners enjoy drinking to excess?!?! Because of Garner's stupidity and continual violation of the law, 3 lives were snuffed out before their time, and little children are disfigured/disabled. Garner got exactly what he deserved. Hopefully the judge will have sense to sentence him for life.
  • by charles Location: westville ohio on Aug 4, 2008 at 08:54 AM
    i would like to thank you all for aLL OF your comments. i am the father of 2 of the children in the van that was hit. my babies will never be the same due to the accident that claimed their mom.my son has memory loss and my daughter has to go thru countless surgeries to fix her face and eye.raymond garner got what he deserves for his actions. please people if you drink dont drive. i beg you. if you do you might kill someone.if you drink, drink at home where its safe. give someone your keys so that you dont drive drunk and kill someone.our family is tring to deal with this tragedy.
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