Judge to rule on officer’s testimony

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LEWISTON – A district court judge likely will rule this week on whether words uttered by an injured and medicated teen should be allowed in his manslaughter trial.

Lewiston police officer Kristopher Murphy testified that he was in the emergency room with Kyle Karkos, 18, of Auburn, as he spoke to doctors after a deadly Canal Street crash in April 2006.

“I heard him say that he was involved in a drag race and he said he wasn’t going to lose,” Murphy said during a court hearing Monday. “He said he went through a couple of lights and lost it on the wet pavement.”

Kenny Jellison Jr., 18, of Auburn, a passenger in the car with Karkos that night, died at the scene.

Murphy said Monday he was waiting after the accident for a blood technician to take a sample from Karkos, who said he hit his head in the accident, had glass in his eyes and could not see that the officer was present.

Justin Leary, Karkos’ attorney, argued that Karkos was describing the scene to doctors to help them treat him. Anything he said should be considered privileged communication between a patient and his doctor.

“He was answering doctors’ questions because they needed to know what led up to his condition,” Leary said.

Karkos was charged in December with manslaughter, reckless conduct and driving to endanger. All three counts are felonies.

He is being tried as a juvenile because he was 17 when the crash occurred. If convicted, he would serve a sentence at a juvenile facility only up to his 21st birthday.

Judge Paul Cote Jr. said he would decide within the next couple of days whether to allow Murphy’s testimony.

A trial date has not been set.

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