Trial underway for man accused of critically injuring woman on bicycle

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thirty-four-year-old Larry Gaines is on trial for aggravated battery. He is accused of hitting MMA fighter Carmella James while she was riding her bicycle to work just after 5 a.m. on May 22, 2018.

Prosecutors began making their case Tuesday morning in the jury trial for Gaines. They claim he may have been under the influence at the time.

Derby police officer Chris Clennan was the first officer on the scene. Clennan’s body camera video was played from May 22, 2018 on the side of the road near 55th South and Rock Road. That is where Carmella James was hit while on her bicycle.

“All of a sudden, I hit this bike,” said Gaines in the video while talking to officer Clennan.

Also in the video, Gaines can be seen and heard telling the officer, “All of a sudden , I just got hit by this bicycle.”

Clennan thought there was slurred speech by Gaines. Gaines was later arrested, and prosecutors now say he may have been under the influence.

Dean Spoon also testified. He is a witness and was driving about a quarter mile behind the accident when it happened.

Defense attorney Evan Watson focused on asking Spoon how dark it was at 5:15 in the morning of May 22, 2018.

“Well, yeah, it was normal five o’clock in the morning dark,” testified Spoon. “It’s pretty dark, yeah.”

The grandmother of Carmella James has been in the courtroom. She says Carmella spent about a month in intensive care after the accident. She also says Carmella still has to use a feeding tube but is working towards recovering.

Prosecutors plan on bringing in toxicologists Wednesday to talk about Gaines. They plan on talking about his blood alcohol level.

In court testimony Gains told officers on video that he was hung over before the accident.

KSN will be in the courtroom Wednesday and you can look for updates here.

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