DAY 3 OF HEIL TRIAL: Jury visits scene of crash

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:47 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Wednesday was day three of the trial against Jacob Heil.

Heil is charged in connection to the death of Marco Shemwell.


Police say Heil was under the influence when he hit 4-year-old with his car. Marco later died.

Wednesday, more officers who worked the scene are taking the stand, along with people who witnessed the crash.

We heard two key testimonies, one from Lexington police officer Brandon Muravchick, who conducted Jacob Heil’s field sobriety tests, and the other from Crystal Johnson, the woman who said she was standing behind the Shemwells on Cooper Drive right before the crash happened.

Officer Muravchick conducted several field sobriety tests on Jacob Heil, including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one leg stand, and walk and turn test.


Muravchick said Heil passed some parts of the tests, but shows signs of impairment on other parts. Muravchick arrested Heil for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Attorneys then shifted their attention to Crystal Johnson. She, her husband, and granddaughter were walking behind the Shemwells on Cooper Drive. She showed attorneys where Marco, his brother, and dad were standing right before the crash.

Jacob Heil
Jacob Heil(WBKO)

She said she saw the car hit Marco, but did not see the car leave the road. She immediately dialed 911. Johnson was visibly shaken and the Shemwell family in tears as the 911 recording played in the courtroom.

Johnson said Heil got out of the car after the crash, rushed over to Marco and his dad, wanting to help, but the dad told him to go away. Here’s what Johnson then said to Heil:

“I just, something about right now, he can’t accept your help,” Johnson said. “You just have to let him do what he has to do.”

Johnson said she told Heil to call his parents in which he agreed to do so.

Defense attorneys only brought up one witness on Wednesday, Heil’s youth pastor Mac Holt. Holt said Heil called him the day of the crash and did not sound impaired.

Day 3 of the trial ended with Heil, attorneys, and jurors visiting the scene to get a final look of where the crash took place.

The trial is set to wrap on Thursday with closing arguments. The case will then be put in the hands of the jury.

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