Families Seek Trial In Tatum Fatal Accident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/08/04 - Longview

Families Seek Trial In Tatum Fatal Accident

      An East Texas family says its upset the two teens accused of killing their loved one have not been punished in connection with a fiery Tatum crash. For the family of Jaicey Robberson it's a familiar scene, attending her grave-site trying to reason why.

    But 7 months after the fatal crash, still no trial, or even a trial date. "Its absolutely devastating, everyday you think they're going to call today and say theres a trial date set, theres been no response, nothing its absolute silence" says Jaiceys' aunt Melissa Bennifield. The girls were hit that October night by a truck driver by victim Rachel Reids own brother.

    An investigation revealed 18 year old David Reid had been racing against 17 year old Carl Kullens, and their subsequent release on bond has many family members angry that he hasn't come to justice yet. "When i see that person that I feel is responsible for this in town laughing and giggling and cutting up it's very disrespectful and it just breaks your heart" Bennifield says.

    "They need to go ahead and set a date so we'll have our place in the logbook where the trial will take place" says Jaicey's father Jim Robberson. Yesterday Rusk County district attorney Kyle Freeman told us that under judicial code , preference had to be given to defendants in jail for trial settings, over those who have made bond and that's what the delay was.  We talked with Gregg County District Attorneys office who said that is essentially correct and does fall within acceptable guidelines.  Still families are frustrated and continually call Freemans office.

   "I asked him have you spoken to anyone and no he hadn't spoke to anyone, it's almost forgotten and its not, I live this everyday, every single moment" Bennifield says. Reid and Kullen were charged with four counts of manslaughter and four counts of felony racing.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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