Boating Accident Trial Begins

Monday, May 19, 2008

By Andres Araiza
5/19/2008 Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- Roger Guzman and Thomas Kirby are accused of hitting Dallen McEntire with their boat and leaving the scene. McEntire nearly died that day and suffered life changing injuries.
Labor Day 2006, many lives changed on Shaver Lake that weekend. Dallen McEntire's mother took a picture of him knee boarding. His father Jeff testified on Monday, he pulled his son with a jet ski.
Cameras were not allowed in the court room.
Emotions overwhelmed the father when he recalled a boat speeding towards his son. Jeff said, "I continued to yell and wave my hands and tried to do whatever I could to avoid what appeared to be happening ... I focused on Dallen ... I watched the boat hit Dallen."
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Action News first introduced you to Dallen last year. He said at that time, "I just saw the guy ... I looked him the eye. Other than that I really don't remember anything."
Some jurors cried seeing graphic pictures of his severely injured face. A gash spanned his head exposing his brain.
Prosecutor Dennis Cooper believes Roger Guzman drove the boat and Thomas Kirby was also on board. Cooper said, "Even if the defendants did not know they were on a collision course ... After it happened they knew about it ... They made a decision, not a good one. The defendants committed a hit and run."
Defense attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt represents Guzman. He said during opening statements, investigators have the wrong people, "It would have been very easy to put one deputy at the end of the marina& to keep track of any boats leaving the lake... They could have closed the marina and prevented boats from leaving... They didn't, and the investigation was compromised." He also said no scientific evidence links the two men to the crime.
Dallen McEntire is listed as a witness in the trial. The prosecutor is unsure if the boy will testify. Dallen's parents said, he is doing well, back in school but still recovering from horrific injuries.
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