Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Jury selection begins for the man accused in the hit-and-run deaths of two teenage girls from Pigtown in South Baltimore. It is a court date the families of the two victims have been waiting months for.
Derek Valcourt spoke with the emotional mother of one of the young victims.
She’s ready for justice but this will be an interesting trial. It pits the defendant against his girlfriend who were both in the car. They each say the other one was driving. It’ll be up to the jury to decide who is telling the truth.
It’s been 10 months since Courtney Angeles, 16, and Emerald Smith, 17, were killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Baltimore’s Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Pamela Mendell-Morales still visits her daughter’s grave regularly.
“When I come into the gates up there at Louden Park, I say, ‘Big hugs to you, Courtney. Mommy is here. Mommy’s here,’” she said.
Her family and friends are now at her side at the courthouse as the trial for her daughter’s accused killer gets underway. She’s filled with emotions.
“Anxiety, some relief knowing that we are finally here at this point knowing that justice can be served,” Mendell-Morales said.
She wants Reuben Dunn, 28, sent to prison. Shortly after the accident, police found Dunn in the car that hit the girls.
Kendra Myles is expected to be the prosecution’s key witness. She was also in the car with Dunn. She’s already pleaded guilty in exchange for leniency. She says Dunn was driving drunk at the time of the accident and she later switched seats with him to protect him.
“Reuben Dunn should have never have been driving,” Mendell-Morales said.
But defense attorneys plan to argue Dunn never was driving, that Myles was and that she’s testifying against him to save herself.
But Mendell-Morales doesn’t buy it and she wants Dunn to held accountable.
“Whether it was going over the speed limit, whether he had a few beers, whether whatever the situation may be, he shouldn’t have been doing it,” she said.
Jury selection was on Wednesday. Opening arguments are expected to begin on Thursday. Dunn faces a number of charges including two counts of automobile manslaughter.
Dunn faces the possibility of 30 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.