Opening arguments begin in trial of truck driver involved in DPS officer’s death

Opening arguments begin in trial of truck driver involved in DPS officer’s death

YUMA, Ariz. Opening arguments started Friday in the trial of a truck driver involved in a crash that killed highway patrolman Tim Huffman. Jorge Espinoza, 34, has been charged with 20 felony offenses tied to Huffman’s death. One of those offenses is second-degree murder.

Both the defense and the prosecution gave opening statements Friday morning that lasted about an hour at Yuma County Superior Court. Both addressed the jury directly.  Attorney Michael J. Donovan, who is representing Espinoza, said the defense is not disputing there was an accident that caused the death of Officer Huffman, but the question they wanted the jury to ask themselves during deliberations is was it a criminal series of activities that contributed to the crash.

Jury selection in the trial lasted more than a week.

Detectives with the Arizona Department of Public Safety Vehicular Crimes Unit arrested Espinoza May 2013. Huffman was killed May 6, 2013 when his parked vehicle was hit by a truck, on Interstate 8 near Yuma.

Espinoza was allegedly using his cell phone to look at pictures of women when the crash happened.

The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.

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