Jacob Heil found not guilty of reckless homicide charge, guilty of DUI

Posted at 7:58 PM, Oct 14, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Jurors have reached a unanimous final verdict in the trial of Jacob Heil. Heil was found not guilty on the reckless homicide charge and guilty on the DUI charge.

"This is not something where there are any winners in this case," said Chris Spedding, Heil's defense attorney. "We're very glad that the jury saw it for what it was, an accident. And that's all the comments that we'll have"

Because Heil was found guilty of the DUI his fine is set at $500.

"We respect the jurors' verdict in this case," said Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn. "It was four days....they deliberated a long time, but I have to say we respectfully disagree with the jury's verdict"

Closing arguments in the trial for a former UK student charged in the death of a 4-year-old child killed in a DUI crash took place Thursday.

"Jacob Heil today got a tremendous gift from this jury," said Red Corn. "And I pray that he uses it wisely"

The now, 21-year-old Heil was charged with reckless homicide and DUI. Heil was accused of killing 4-year-old Marco Shemwell.

The trial began Monday with opening statements and testimony. Day two of testimony followed on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Marco Shemwell's parents recounted the moments their world changed forever.

Heil was 18-years-old 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 weighed 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.