DES MOINES, Iowa — Lawyers have spent the past week dissecting the moments before the crash that killed 4-year-old Marcos Faguada days before Christmas. The jury is now deliberating whether Robert Miller III is responsible for Faguada’s death.
Miller’s defense team rested their case late Wednesday afternoon, and the case was handed to the jury shortly before the Polk County Courthouse closed for the day.
Miller is accused of speeding his sedan up Fleur Drive on Dec. 13 and crossing into the wrong way of traffic before crashing.
Miller faces charges of reckless driving and drag racing for Faguada’s death and injuries to the driver of Faguada’s car. He also faces a charge of operating while intoxicated.
Both the defense and prosecution had final statements prepared for the jury before court concluded.
“It doesn’t take much to charge someone with a crime, but reasonable doubt is way up here,” said Miller’s defense lawyer Molly Spellman. “It’s high, and the state has to prove it.”
“Had there been no drag racing, there would not have been a crash, there would not have been a death, and there would not have been a serious injury,” said prosecution lawyer Jaki Livingston. “This is not a 5,000 piece puzzle, this is a two piece puzzle.”
The defense also claimed to the jury that Faguada was actually killed by a person swinging a baseball bat to break a window, a claim the prosecution vehemently denied.
“They assumed that Marcos died from the injuries sustained from the collision, and law enforcement investigated no one else,” Spellman said. “There were multiple people talking about a man with a baseball bat.”
“The defense wants you to worry about where is this baseball bat that surely must have been the instrument of damage,” Livingston said. “Its fiction, smoke and mirrors.”
Miller spoke in court for the first time, but only to say that he would not testify before the judge.
The defense hoped to call Miller’s sister as a witness, but the judge did not allow it because she was deemed irrelevant to the crash.