NewsCovering Kern County


Emotional third day during Hernandez Trial

Court saw pictures of Officer Nelson's fatal crash
Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 21:16:09-04

It was an emotional ending to day three in the Julian Hernandez trial, who is facing charges in the death of Bakersfield Police officer David Nelson following a high-speed chase back in 2015.

Friday's court proceedings ended with one of officer Nelson's beat partners, officer Brandon McNamara, taking the stand. During his testimony the court heard what lead up to and pictures of the aftermath of officer Nelson's deadly crash.

The courtroom heard officer Nelson's voice during the radio calls with dispatch. He was describing the pursuit and indicating speeds ranging between 60 to 75 mile per hour on Haley Street near Bakersfield College.
During the testimony the courtroom was noticeably moved. Officer McNamara teared up on the stand as well as officer nelson's parents in the audience. Officer McNamara also described how he responded when he first saw officer Nelson's crash and described pictures from the scene of officer Nelson's car as well as officers trying to save his life.

Earlier in Friday's hearing, the court heard testimony about a shotgun that was found near the pursuit scene. A DNA tech, Garett Sugimoto, testified a discharged shell casing found inside the shotgun had Julian Hernandez's dna on it. But, Sugimoto admitted he didn't know when that dna got on the evidence.

During Sugimoto's testimony Judge John Lua called for a mid-morning recess. During which, Hernandez's attorney asked why the shotgun was important to the case.  He argued if the shotgun was missing it's stock and not operable, why was Hernandez facing charges related to the shotgun.

Also during Friday's court proceedings, the court hear testimony about Hernandez's prior traffic tickets. DMV supervisor Eric Light testified that Hernandez had four speeding tickets in nine years, including one for doing 85 MPH in a 40 MPH zone and another doing 104 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. 

23ABC reached out to officer Nelson's family and both lawyers during and at the end of Friday, but none of them had a comment. When they all left the courtroom they looked noticeably moved after seeing the aftermath of officer Nelson's crash.

The trial will be dark during spring break next week, but will resume on Monday April 2nd.