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Lexington man makes first court appearance in connection with deadly crash

Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 11:09 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Matthew Starling was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.

He was initially arrested Monday night and released a few hours later. That led to protest at the courthouse. And once he was charged with manslaughter those protesters wanted to know why that charge wasn’t murder.

Lexington police say Starling made a left-hand turn in front of Daezon Morgan Monday night on Richmond Road. Morgan was on a motorcycle, and was killed in that crash.

Starling’s arrest citation said he had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol, and admitted to having some drinks.

He was released from jail a few hours later on that DUI charge, Tuesday afternoon, he was charged with second-degree manslaughter and he turned himself in a few hours later.

Lexington police have released a timeline of the night of the deadly crash. The 911 call happened around 8:50, and around 10:05 supervisors requested additional officers because they say a disorder broke out on the scene.

Starling would eventually be taken to a hospital to complete a field sobriety test and arrested for DUI at 11:02. But police said he wasn’t given a breathalyzer until 12:52 a.m.

On a Facebook live video from the scene, that started about an hour and a half after the crash, you can hear people questioning why it was taking so long.

Police say collision reconstruction investigations involve a lot of evidence and it’s not uncommon for the more serious charge to come later.

They released a couple of examples like Tammy Rodriguez who was charged on September 4, 2019, with DUI, and then charged 15 days later with murder. Sequoyah Collins was charged on July 5, 2019 with DUI, but then charged with murder and assault in September of that year.

And Dean Carson was charged in September 2018 with DUI and possession of controlled substance, but wasn’t indicted on a murder charge until December of that year.

While Starling was released of his own recognizance on that DUI charge, he is now being held on a $75,000 bond on the manslaughter charge.

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing Wednesday afternoon. Starling’s next court appearance is June 19 for his preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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