First day of trial begins in case involving alleged drunken driving death of veteran

It's been almost 2 years since veteran Domonick Turner was on his motorcycle on Interstate 35 in Round Rock when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY - It's been almost two years since veteran Domonick Turner was on his motorcycle on Interstate 35 in Round Rock, when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver. 

Tuesday, testimony began in the trail for the man accused of his murder, John McClintock.

McClintock is accused of going out drinking with his friends, and then getting in his car and driving almost 15 miles North in the Southbound lanes of Interstate 35 near Round Rock, before hitting Turner. 

Shortly after the trial began Tuesday, the prosecution said that Turner, an Army veteran, didn't die while serving in Afghanistan, but instead from his injuries sustained from McClintock's choices. The prosecution also said that multiple people told McClintock not to drive after having six beers and three shots within a span of four hours.

“It’s going to be clear, he did not intend for that to happen, its’ going to be clear he’s a good person, who is a brother and son himself, but what also is going to be crystal clear is that he voluntarily drank every one of those drinks, that caused him to be almost 3 times the legal limit,” said Prosecutor Sunny Mitchell. “The choices he made were dangerous and bad, the actions he took were dangerous and bad, and the consequences of what he did were as bad as it could get.”

Prosecutors said McClintock choose to drink six beers and three shots. 

"Multiple people, multiple people were telling him not to drive," said Mitchell. 

After the prosecution, McClintock's defense lawyer said he agreed with the prosecution on what should happen, but not on what actually happened.

“He knows that no matter what happens that this is going to end with him leaving through a door and go and be locked up, we understand that, we know that’s the end of this chapter, will him being locked in a box for awhile, and he’s earned that, but when we discuss what the proper punishment might be, it’s our job to let you know that probation isn’t the slap on the wrist that maybe folks have heard,” said Defense Attorney Todd Nichols. 

McClintock's defense said McClintock was bullied as a child and that he used drinking as a way to fit in and he now tells people he is an alcoholic. His lawyer said McClintock now wears an ankle monitor that determines if he has alcohol. He said McClintock has not had a drop of alcohol in two years.

"There was not a mean bone in his body, thinking I need to hurt somebody, I need to do something dangerous or reckless, his only thought through all those alcoholic drinks was I just need to get home," said Nichols. 

McClintock's defense also added in their opening statement that McClintock now teaches an Alcoholics Anonymous class at a jail in San Marcos.

“You’re punishing him for what happened that night, but you’re sentencing the guy that sits there today,” said Nichols. 

Jurors heard from 10 witnesses, each called by the prosecution, and each describing a piece of the events on that November night in 2015. 

The jury heard testimony from several drivers who were on the road that morning and saw a car going the wrong way, each said they were shocked to see it, and called 911.

Austin Police Officer Cpl Hector Campos chased McClintock on I-35, trying to get his attention to pull over.

“He never looked over at me, even though I kept turning on and off the ally light, essentially flashing him with my lights, and alternating my siren, he just kept looking forward, at times he would look down and look forward, but never once did he look over to his right to acknowledge that I was there,” said Campos.

As Turner's family cried in the courtroom, Campos described Turner's injuries after the crash, and said it was "obvious he was not alive."

Cpl. Campos also said McClintock had vomit on him in the car.

The APD provided dash cam video from Cpl. Campos' patrol car, in which McClintock's vehicle is seen going the wrong way on the highway and the officer is heard telling dispatch the driver was not responding to his lights or sirens.

Following the video, it appeared Turner's family was notified of the photos coming up and his mother left the courtroom. The photos depicted the damage to Turner's motorcycle and Cpl. Campos said Turner's helmet appeared to have "shot straight off his body." The photos also revealed Turner's deceased body after the crash.

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They also heard from a good friend of John McClintock, Kevra Ray, who was drinking with him at the bar that night.

"Do you remember having concerns about the driving?" asked the prosecution. "Yes." said Ray. 

"Why were you concerned about him driving?" said the prosecution.  "He looked really tired." sad Ray. 

"How could you tell he looked tired?" asked the prosection. "Because his eyes weren't wide open.," said Ray. 

McClintock entered a guilty plea, so now it will be up the jurors to decide his punishment. 

Also, Sgt. Darrell Gatlin testified Tuesday.

Turner was in Texas to visit his military friend after previously serving together.

Gatlin said he saw him leave that morning for a job interview, and was one of the last people to see him alive.

"He left at 3, you know my friend was there, and he was going to get an amazing job, and then he wasn't," said Gatlin. 

McClintock appeared in court for the first time in late 2015 and initially pleaded not guilty to the charge. In March 2016, a gag order was issued for the case and both sides were restricted from speaking with the media in order to ensure that potential jurors would not be prejudiced by pretrial publicity.

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

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