Crash Victims' Families Want A Trial Date - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/7/04 - Rusk County

Crash Victims' Families Want A Trial Date

Its' been seven months since four young girls were killed in a fiery car accident in Tatum. It happened on highway 149 in Rusk county.

The driver of the truck that hit them was arrested for racing along with the 17 year old man he was allegedly racing against. But a trial date still hasn't been set.

The families say they can't understand why it's taking so long.

The families of Rachel Reid, Jaicey Robberson, Mackinsey Blalock and Kasey Moraw will never forget September 6th, 2003. That evening the girls left Kasey's home in Tatum to go out.

"When my daughter walked out that night. She made a special point to come back and she kissed me on the cheek and she said that she loved me. Two seconds later we heard the most awful crash you've ever heard in your life," says Janet Russom.

The girls had been hit by Rachel's own brother, 18 year old David.

All four girls were killed.

An investigation revealed David had been drag racing driving 100 miles an hour. David and the boy he was racing, 17 year old Karl Kullens were arrested last December.

7 months after the accident there has been no trial. Kasey's family is devastated that a date hasn't even been set.

"Whenever you see someone out there. Whether you meant to or not meant to and they're having a good time. They're laughing and they're cutting up. You just can't help but resent it."

The district attorney Kyle Freeman says there are other cases that he's forced to make a priority. "Article 32A of our code of criminal procedure says that we must give preference to the people that are in jail to trial settings, over people that have made bond," says Freeman.

"My child is a priority. These other girls are a priority. There's four girls who will never get married, never have children, never get to know the joys that I as a mother and dreamt about all my life with my daughter," says Janet.

Mr. Freeman says he understand's the families feeling but says sometimes the legal system does move slowly. He hopes to set to a trial date soon. "It's hard to tell. It could be within four months. It could be within eight months. There's not way to tell specifically when a defendant that's on bond is going to trial," says Freeman.

Allen saw his step daughter lying on the road that night, lifeless. He tried to save her life, but couldn't.

"So I've got that mental picture. And if Mr. Freeman could only see that picture. They'd be picking a jury today. They'd be going to court next week and they'd be in jail the week after that," says Allen Russom.

David Reid and Karl Cullens were charged with four counts of manslaughter and four counts of racing on a highway. Both were able to post bond.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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