DES MOINES, Iowa — Jury deliberations began on Wednesday in the trial of Keith Jones, the Des Moines man accused of street racing and causing a deadly crash that took the life of a 4-year-old in December.
Both the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments to the jury before deliberation began.
The prosecution pieced together witness statements from the trial to create a chronological storyline of what led up to the crash — highlighting how witnesses from multiple locations on Fleur Drive saw Jones and Robert Miller III, who was sentenced over the summer for his role in the crash, weaving in and out of traffic and saw them speeding up until the collision.
“Nine state witnesses in six different vehicles, in six different locations on that three mile stretch of course,” Jaki Livingston, the prosecuting attorney, said. “They all describe the behavior the same. Both vehicles racing, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting lanes, and driving recklessly, dangerously. And everybody knew something bad was going to happen.”
The defense referenced Jones’ testimony in their closing arguments, specifically mentioning his claim that he wasn’t an active participant in the racing, and stopped to check up on Miller after the crash occurred.
“You see Miller flying into the frame,” Van Plum, Jones’ defense attorney, explained. “We’ve got three pieces of uncontroverted evidence of Mr. Jones trying to get Mr. Miller to leave him alone and not engaging in his shenanigans. It is clear folks, Mr. Jones is not guilty of any of these crimes. He wasn’t drag racing, he wasn’t driving recklessly, nor was he intoxicated.”
Deliberations will continue on Thursday morning.