Trial ordered in Philadelphia cop's crash death
PHILADELPHIA - September 26, 2012 (WPVI) -- A man charged with killing a Philadelphia police officer in a drunken, wrong-way crash will be held for trial on charges including murder and vehicular homicide.
In court on Wednesday, John Leck Jr., 47, was ordered to stand trial after prosecutors presented videos, witnesses and expert testimony on the July 8 crash that killed Officer Brian Lorenzo.
The 23-year veteran of the force lost his life after he finished his shift.
In court, the state trooper investigating the case said it looked like a bomb had gone off. Authorities say Leck, whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, ignored "do not enter" signs and drove his Audi the wrong way on Interstate 95 for a half mile before slamming into Lorenzo's motorcycle.
"The crash caused Officer Lorenzo up on the car causing him severe injuries, including his leg being severed from his body," said Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Coelho.
One witness testified that, prior to the crash, Officer Lorenzo had pulled along her northbound car and nodded in such a way to cause her to check her speed.
"She realized she was speeding. She backed off and slowed down," said Coelho.
Fighting back sobs, the witness said in the next instant there was a loud boom, the motorcycle went down and the officer flew into the air.
Leck is charged with Third Degree Murder, Homicide by Vehicle While DUI, Aggravated Assault While DUI, DUI and Involuntary Manslaughter.
Leck simply sat and stared during the testimony. His attorney tried to get the third degree murder charge dropped, arguing that the accident was not malicious.
The judge was not swayed and the third degree murder charge remains.
Leck was allegedly drinking at a bar that night, but left about two hours before the crash. The family is trying to find out where Leck spent that time.
"We are conducting discovery right now, an investigation into identify who served him additional alcohol and where it was served," said Lorenzo family attorney James Binns.
Lorenzo is survived by his wife, Linda, and three children.
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