Tatum Racing Trial Enters Third Day - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/21/05-Longview

Tatum Racing Trial Enters Third Day

In the third day of the David Reid trial in Henderson, we hear for the first time from one of those involved in the racing incident that killed four Tatum girls in September 2003. 19-year-old Karl Cullens and 20-year-old David Reid are accused of racing on the highway the day the girls died. Reid faces four counts of racing on the highway and four counts of manslaughter.

In court proceedings today, Cullen gave his testimony in exchange for a plea agreement that reduced his charges to misdemeanor racing.

Cameras are not allowed in the courtroom. Everyone in the courtroom today was well aware of "what" happened on highway 149 near Tatum that September night in 2003. The big question they wanted answered was "why" did it happen. At the center of attention today, the 19 year old co- defendant Karl Cullen.

Prosecutors asked "why were you going so fast?

Cullen: "Just for speed!"

Prosecutors: "Were you in horse-play or racing?

Cullen: "No sir, just speeding"!

But later in testimony, Cullen said, "I still feel we were racing one another."

Cullen admitted going at least 85 -plus miles per hour during the race, and when questioned about Reid's collision said, "We passed six cars before the accident, and I never saw David's brake lights come on, the Blazer was on fire and I thought David was dead."

The defense quickly questioned Cullens' motives, reading from his original deposition.

The defense said "You swore in a deposition you were never racing, and now with eight counts dismissed against you, you were?"

Cullen: "Yes, we were racing down 149. I was racing."

State troopers estimate Reid was traveling almost 99 miles per hour when he began to brake before the collision.

The prosecution is not even halfway through its witness list. The trial is expected to go possibly into next week.

David Reid is facing two to 20 years in prison if he's convicted on all charges.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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