BELTON — A former Killeen resident facing an intoxicated manslaughter charge took the stand in his own defense Wednesday.
Eugene Kelly Wolfenberger was one of several witnesses called to the testify by defense attorneys after prosecutors rested their case during the trial’s third day in Bell County District Court.
Wolfenberger is accused of killing 47-year-old William Allen Reed of Killeen on Aug. 11, 2010. According to police reports and testimony, Reed was riding a motorcycle at the intersection of Westcliff Road when Wolfenburger allegedly struck the bike with his car, killing Reed. Wolfenberger fled the scene, and was arrested at his home later that night.
While the prosecution argued Wolfenberger was intoxicated at the time he struck Reed, Wolfenberger said he was not drunk and that he did not remember much of what happened after the crash.
“I recall a loud explosion, a loud bang, even some brightness,” Wolfenberger said. “From there, I don’t remember anything until Chrissy (his wife) socking me in the arm in the front yard saying ‘you ruined my car, you ruined my car’.”
Prior to the crash, Wolfenberger said he drank one beer while doing yard work at his home, and later had one beer with his son while at a pair of bars along Farm Road 439 just outside Killeen.
“I hit him. I’m responsible for killing your husband,” Wolfenberger said, looking at a group of Reed’s family and friends sitting in the courtroom. “I was not intoxicated when I did that, however. I was not speeding when I did that.”
Defense attorneys argued the blackout was possibly the result of post-traumatic stress disorder since Wolfenberger is an Army veteran and contractor with multiple deployments.
During a tense cross examination, prosecutor Mike Waldman noted that Wolfenberger refused to give a blood sample to police after the accident.
Waldman also noted that reports from a social worker and psychiatrist stated Wolfenberger mentioned he was intoxicated at the time of the crash during a visit to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Temple just days after the incident.
Wolfenberger said he did not remember much about the visits or making those statements.
“So everything that draws attention to your drinking and your refusal (of a blood alcohol test), you don’t remember?” Waldman asked.
“I’d say that’s not an accurate statement, and misleading, quite honestly,” Wolfenberger responded.
Other witnesses called by the defense Wednesday included Wolfenberger’s wife, Christine, and a counselor who treated Wolfenberger for PTSD after the crash.
The trial resumes today, with both sides expected to make closing arguments.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.