PAYETTE – It was emotional day in a Payette County courtroom where a judge ruled a former deputy will go to trial on a vehicular manslaughter charge.
Friends and family packed the courtroom to hear testimony against former Payette County Deputy Scott Sloan.
Our cameras were not allowed to record the testimony of those on the witness stand.
This crash happened on Oct. 18, 2011 as Deputy Sloan was responding to a 911 call.
As he was getting ready to pass Barry Johnson's Jeep on Highway 30, Johnson turned left towards his driveway and was struck by Sloan's patrol cruiser. Johnson died at the scene.
Johnson had alcohol in his system at the time of his death. His blood alcohol content was measured at .08, the legal limit in Idaho.
At Friday’s preliminary hearing, the prosecution called Idaho State Police crash reconstruction expert Quinn Carmack who surveyed the crash scene.
Carmack said Sloan made an unsafe pass around Johnson and was operating his marked police cruiser in a reckless way by traveling over 100 miles per hour.
Gem County Prosecutor Richard Linville says Sloan violated Idaho state code.
"He is only allowed to exceed the speed limit so long as he doesn't endanger life or property,” said Linville. “The testimony here before you today is that he killed Barry Johnson."
Sloan's defense attorney Joe Filicetti questioned the precision of Carmack's report.
He also brought in an investigator, Payette ISP Trooper Justin Klitch who disagreed with Carmack, and said Johnson's blood alcohol content contributed to the crash.
“And the biggest thing is he was DUI,” said Filicetti. “I can't believe that I've reached the day when an ISP trooper is telling me that somebody who is .08 isn't a factor in a crash.”
Judge James Peart ruled there was enough probable cause to send this case to trial.
Friends of Barry Johnson's daughter, Jackie Raymond, tell us the family is pleased with the ruling.
“She has been going through an emotional roller coaster, and I really feel she is happy today,” said Anna Banda. “She feels she is going to get justice for her dad.”
Sloan's attorney vowed to fight for justice at the trial.
“He has left his job in law enforcement,” said Filicetti. “He has been very depressed working at a side job. He has four kids and this has devastated him. He is not guilty of vehicular manslaughter, no question about it.”
Carmack also told the court his administrators changed some things in his initial crash report, which he disagreed with. That also fueled the defense's argument that the report was not thorough.
Sloan will be back in court for his arraignment on April 20.