After seven days of testimony and arguments, a jury has found a local 32-year-old man guilty of several charges stemming from a 2016 wreck that left one man dead and four injured.
This week, the jury in State of Georgia vs. Joshua Davis, returned after hours of deliberation with a guilty verdict for two counts of homicide by vehicle, four counts of felony causing serious injury by vehicle, and one count each of driving under the influence and reckless driving.
Joshua Davis, a 32-year-old resident of Cumming, has spent nearly two years behind bars in the Forsyth County Jail.
According to testimony during the trial, Davis was arrested on May 7, 2016, after a 2009 Ford F-250, operated by Davis, drifted into the southbound lane of Old Atlanta Road between St. Marlo Club Parkway and Hilltop Drive and struck a 2001 Ford F-250 traveling southbound.
At the time of the wreck, a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez, told the FCN that the driver of the 2001 Ford F-250, 40-year-old Adolfo Mendoza of Norcross, attempted to avoid the collision by braking and steering his vehicle into the shoulder, but the impact forced his truck into the guardrail.
Mendoza died from his injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital more than a month after the wreck. Four other passengers of the 2001 Ford F-250 were taken at the time to North Fulton Hospital with critical to minor injuries.
In her opening statements, and later in her arguments during the trial, assistant district attorney Jennifer Scalia laid out two theories to the jury, which stated that Davis caused the death of Mendoza and injuries to four other victims either by driving under the influence of drugs, or by driving recklessly.
“I expect that there will be little question that this wreck caused the death of Adolfo Mendoza … what the main question is going to be, is why did this happen? What caused this defendant to drive so erratically across the line and strike this vehicle, causing such a disastrous event,” Scalia said.
During the trial, jurors heard from a variety of different eyewitnesses and expert witnesses including first responders, deputies with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, personnel with the sheriff’s office and EMS services, and staff of Grady Hospital and North Fulton Hospital and others.
One of the first witnesses to be called in the trail, a retired investigator and former military police officer, Scott Blake, said that he was one of the first responders at the scene of the collision on May 7, 2016.
Blake said he witnessed Davis driving erratically before the collision and watched as Davis’s Black Ford F-250, approached a curve in the road at Old Atlanta Road between St. Marlo Club Parkway and Hilltop Drive, and failed to maintain its lane, smashing Mendoza’s work truck into the guard rail.
“As I made the turn I observed that the truck did not turn but continued to drive straight … so much so that I was speaking to my rearview mirror as we have probably all done, just going ‘turn, turn, turn.’ And he did not, he struck a vehicle going southbound,” Blake said.
After the trial’s conclusion Tuesday, Davis’s attorney Phil Pilgrim stated that they were disappointed with the jury’s decision and if Davis decides to make an appeal in the future, they would be looking into certain aspects of the case.
The case of State of Georgia vs. Joshua Davis was presided over by Judge Philip Smith.
With the guilty verdict, sentencing for Davis will be held on April 12.