Was it murder or a tragic accident?
Wednesday, March 16th 2005, 9:57 AM CST
A Tulsa County District Court jury began hearing testimony Wednesday in a courtroom about the death of a young man named TC Lane.
The first three witnesses say it was no accident, but a deliberate hit and run on Christmas Eve of 2003 that took Lane's life.
News on six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the families of both young men, the victim, TC Lane[pictured right] and the suspect, Zachary Hudson[pictured left], filled the courtroom.
Prosecutors say TC Lane and his best friend had been out celebrating their birthdays and called a cab to take them home. The cab dropped them off about a block away and they were walking when two other young men, who'd also been out drinking, drove up and Lane and the passenger, Zachary Hudson got into an argument, then a fight.
After it was over, they say Lane and his best friend walked off toward home and Hudson and his friend hopped in the car and left. They say Hudson insisted they go back to the scene and they did. That's when Hudson hopped behind the wheel of the car, sped up and hit Lane as he was walking across the street.
They say Hudson never stopped and a Crimestoppers tip led Tulsa Police to the car and Hudson, a few days later. One witness, a neighbor who heard the commotion says Hudson started the fight, but Lane finished it. The other two boys tried to break it up. Another neighbor said he saw the car hit Lane and believes it was a deliberate act because the tires were squealing, the car was speeding and there was plenty of room for him to drive around Lane and miss him.
However, Hudson's attorneys say this is not a premeditated murder, but a tragic accident. They say it wasn't intentional, that Lane stepped out in front of the car. They even say Hudson will testify and tell the jurors his side of the story.
However, TC Lane won't have that same opportunity; he died two days after he was hit by the car.
Homicide detectives and the medical examiner are set to testify. Hudson's attorneys say this case was a rush to judgment, because Hudson was arrested and charged with murder within a week of the crash.
Tulsa Police say it wouldn't have taken that long, had Hudson not left the scene that night and hidden his car at an apartment complex.