WOBURN (CBS) – For six-and-a-half hours, a Middlesex County jury has been deliberating over whether multiple sclerosis patient Brad Casler is, in fact, a criminal.
“The jury has a ton of documents and evidence to weed through,” says legal analyst Jennifer Roman. She says the jury of five women and seven men have to answer a tough question: Should Casler be charged with motor vehicle homicide for his role in the 2016 crash into the Sweet Tomatoes pizza shop in Newton?
Eleanor Miele and Gregory Morin were killed in the crash. Casler’s unusual move, taking the stand in his own defense, gives the jury even more to think about. “I think the jury did need to hear from him,” says Roman. “The question becomes how he presented and what he said. Was it enough to sway the jury, to the extent they may be leaning towards a guilty finding, to swing them towards a not guilty finding?”
She says a special instruction the judge gave jurors could help the defense. If they find there was a sudden medical emergency, they can factor that into their decision.
“It’s critical to the defense case that this was in there,” says Roman, “and it’s really going to come down to whether or not the jurors believe that Casler should have known not to drive.”
The jury has the testimony of 23 witnesses to consider, about 1100 pages of medical records, and stacks of photographs. If convicted, he could face a maximum seven-year sentence. Last year, he rejected a plea deal that would have included a two-year sentence.
The jury is set to continue deliberations Monday morning.