Robert Higbee trial on May 21st
There was no testimony on the 20th because Robert Higbee’s attorney was ill. There is no testimony on the 22nd because of an unpaid day off for State employees. Testimony will resume on Tuesday.
Today’s witness was Richard Ruth, the “black box expert”. The defense didn’t even start cross yet so I expect at least another full day of testimony if not more. However, during the voir dire of the expert the defense can cross the expert about their qualifications. In this case, William Subin, Higbee’s attorney did a great job in ripping apart Mr. Ruth who seemed a little “off”. This is the type of guy that wears a short tie which just tells me a lot about him. Mr. Subin brought out the fact that Mr. Ruth forgot about what trial he did testify at and which he didn’t. For me, it was the most exciting part of the case because Subin and Ruth really went at it. While I think Subin could have crafted a little better to box Ruth in, I know it is easy for me to say that when I am not in the heat of trial.
For all of the expert’s testimony, I think a lot of it was too much information for the jury to handle with much of it being pointless. One key issue that came out was that Higbee tapped on his brake pedal before the warning sign for the stop sign. Thus, the State will argue that Higbee saw the stop sign, tapped on his brake and then still went through the stop sign thinking that no one was coming from the other way.
Of course, this is all just speculation. Mr. Subin needs to hammer the point home that you don’t know why he tapped on the brake, i.e is this his normal driving behavior or did he see the stop sign? That is really the key point of the case. Crossing this expert on and on about this and that will only distract from the key points of the defense. As I’ve said before, this is actually a fairly simple case that is being made more complicated by both sides.