Drunk driver testifies about the night he killed veteran

For the first time, we're hearing from the drunk driver who killed a veteran in a head-on crash.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY - John McClintock, facing charges of intoxication manslaughter after driving drunk on Interstate 35 the wrong way and killing Domonick Turner in a head-on crash back in 2015, took the stand Thursday in day three of his trial. 

McClintock told jurors he's guilty and is ready to accept the consequences.

McClintock spent much of the time answering questions and talking about his problems with alcohol, his struggle to make friends, and his feeling of isolation due to a video game addiction.

McClintock admitted to driving intoxicated several times before the crash and thought that night he could handle it.

He also said it took awhile after the crash before realizing someone had died and that he had a problem with alcohol. He spoke about when he realized what happened.

"Later on that day, there was an individual that was in the tank with us, in the county jail, and he said 'why are you putting me next to a killer?' And that's when it started making sense," said McClintock. 

McClintock never outright apologized but did admit that he thinks of Turner every day.

"At the end of the day, I will not have a single drink the rest of my life because I killed Domonick Turner and I remember that every single day," said McClintock. 

McClintock also said he goes to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day and meets with his pastor once a week.

He says he chooses not to drink because he thinks about Turner and the consequences of his actions. 

He told the jury what sobriety means to him now. 

"It means that I can never have a drink again in my life," said McClintock. 

"And you mention Mr.Turner when you say that? What's your thought process there?" asked the defense.

"That it's a living memory, every day, of what I did, and the consequences of my actions," said McClintock. 

His defense team also asked about the impact of seeing the evidence in the trial this week. 

"The sad picture of Mr. Turner on I-35, the night he was killed, had you seen that before this week?" asked his defense lawyer.

"No," McClintock answered. 

"What went through your mind when you saw that?" asked the defense. 

"I'll never forget this day in my entire life," said McClintock. 

"And if you ever, the rest of your life, were ever offered a drink, or an opportunity to go to a bar, what goes through your mind at that moment?" asked the defense. 

"No thank you," said McClintock. 

When prosecutors questioned him, they pointed out all of the options he could have chosen instead of drinking and driving, like taking an Uber, calling a friend, or even sleeping in his car.

He tried to explain his thought process at the time, as to why he didn't have a different plan.

"Because I thought I could handle it, I thought that it didn't affect me, the way it affects other people, that I was different somehow," said McClintock. 

Turner's family was in the courtroom again Thursday, visibly upset by the testimony. Wednesday, Turner's dad testified, saying it's "hell" living without his only son.

Thursday, the defense also called on friends of McClintock and a probation worker.

The first witness called to the stand was Chris Carrier, a pastor at San Marcos Baptist Academy who has known the McClintock family for 20 years. Carrier said he had McClintock as a student in his classroom and said he was "withdrawn" and "timid."

Carrier reported that he reconnected with McClintock after the crash when he came to church and that they now meet one-on-one every week. He said it has been a "gradual process" for McClintock to share details from the night of the crash.

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Carrier also said that he and McClintock spend "many evenings" figuring out how he can help others after the crash. When asked if he will still be friends with McClintock after jail, he said yes.

The next witness called to the stand was a friend of McClintock's from alcohol recovery. He said that after he received a second DUI, he lost his career but Alcoholics Anonymous helped him get sober. He said McClintock is like a brother to him.

Next, the defense called on witness Izzy Cunningham, an adult probation worker in Williamson County.

Cunningham said conditions of probation have a wide range and that depending on the case, people could have to report twice a month or more if they are a high risk. 

John McClintock already entered a guilty plea earlier in the week, so the jury will decide his punishment.

While the defense is urging for 10 years of probation, with 120 days in jail, prosecutors feel that's not enough. punishment.

Jurors could give him up to 20 years in prison.

Both sides rested their case Thursday, meaning they're done calling witnesses and showing evidence.

Friday morning at 9 a.m., they'll give their closing arguments. Then, it's up to the jury. 

Follow reporter Christy Millweard on Twitter for more updates from the trial:

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