LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than three years after 4-year-old Marco Shemwell's death, jurors are set to decide the fate of the man prosecutors say is responsible.
On Wednesday, emotional testimonies were given in the trial of Jacob Heil.
With 21-year-old Heil seated in the courtroom, charged with reckless homicide and DUI, Marco Shemwell's parents recounted the moments their world changed forever.
"In my opinion, he was gone he was dead," said Ben Shemwell. "And I remember kind of glancing around. I couldn't really see anybody who could help me, so I started praying."
"What I remember most is that I heard Ben's voice just shaking, a lot like mine is right now and he was crying," Liz Shemwell said. "And he just said, 'Babe, we're in trouble. We need to pray'."
Heil was 18 at the time, and according to prosecutors, had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit when he was driving the car that hit Marco.
Jurors may weigh that testimony against video from that September day, which includes a police interview with Heil as well as a field sobriety test, during which heil appears to struggle with the alphabet.
The defense has argued Heil was not impaired and that his car never veered into the grass.
"Marco Shemwell did what little boys do and are capable of. He ran out in the road. He stepped out into the road. What didn't occur was a crime, this was an accident," said Heil's defense attorney Christopher Spedding.