Testimony Continues in DUI Homicide Trial of Suspended Erie Police Officer
Along with having a blood alcohol content level of nearly triple the legal limit, the suspended Erie Police Officer charged in a deadly drunk driving accident also had several prescription medications in her system, a toxicologist testified on Tuesday.
Cheryl Frey, 47, is charged with homicide by vehicle while DUI, in connection the fatal crash, which claimed the life of 57-year-old Wade Schulze.
It happened February, 18, 2017, around 12:20 a.m. on Route 99 in McKean Township.
On Tuesday, the jury of six men and six women heard from a number of key witnesses in the case, including 36-year-old Danny Hamilton, who prosecutors say crashed into Frey’s vehicle, moments after the fatal accident.
Hamilton pleaded guilty to DUI in November, and was sentenced to 30 days of electronic monitoring and five months of probation.
Police say Hamilton’s BAC was 0.204 percent at the time of the crash.
Hamilton testified that he remembered crashing into Frey's black SUV.
But on cross examination from Frey’s lawyer Andrew Sisinni, it was revealed that Hamilton told police on two occasions that he crashed into a white Honda, which matches the description of Schulze’s vehicle.
Forensic toxicologist Matthew McMullin testified on Tuesday, that Frey's BAC was 0.232 percent, nearly triple the legal limit of 0.08 percent, and that she had also been on several prescription medications on the night of the fatal collision.
Investigators say Schulze’s BAC was 0.11 percent.
Erie County Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Lightner says while all three motorists were legally drunk on the night of the crash, Frey is the one at fault.
Frey originally pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while DUI, but withdrew her plea.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office then reinstated every charge that she was originally facing.
Meanwhile, Sisinni deferred his opening statement until after the Commonwealth presents its case.
In a previous hearing, Sisinni said that Schulze played a significant role in the crash.
Testimony continues Wednesday morning, at the Erie County Courthouse.
Judge William Cunningham is presiding over the trial.