Trial starts in fatal Fairfield crash case

By From page A3 | October 10, 2012

FAIRFIELD — A murder trial got under way Monday for a former Travis Air Force Base airman who allegedly caused a deadly drunken driving crash.

In addition to a murder charge, prosecutors have charged Tyler Scott, 22, with felony vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated causing an injury accident.

Scott was speeding on Cement Hill Road on the night of May 25, 2011, when he lost control of his truck and crashed head-on into a car driven by George E. Smith, according to testimony at a probable cause hearing.

A blood sample taken from Scott after the crash revealed his blood-alcohol level was .20 percent, according to police testimony at a pretrial hearing. A data recording computer in Scott’s lifted pickup truck reflected the truck was traveling at least 75 mph at the time of the crash.

Scott’s defense attorney, Daniel Russo, conceded Scott’s responsibility for the fatal crash that also injured three others but insisted that Smith’s death did not amount to murder.

Russo focused his opening statement on Scott’s service in Iraq, for which the airman received numerous awards. Scott’s time in Iraq also led to alcoholism and binge drinking, Russo said.

Before the crash, Scott had been at a party where he and friends were drinking large amounts of beer and other alcohol, according to prosecution witnesses. One partygoer said Scott initially accepted her offer to give him a ride rode but later in the evening insisted on driving himself and a friend to the midnight opening of the movie “The Hangover: Part II.”

The prosecution is scheduled to resume its case against Scott when the trial resumes Wednesday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Correction: This version corrects the title of the movie in the penultimate paragraph.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • GemmaOctober 10, 2012 - 5:30 am

    It really chaps my hide when someone is MURDERED, and the the perp somehow finds the funds to hire one of the better lawyers in town, instead of being stuck with a public pretender. The murder may not have been intentional,but the man is still dead! 75 MPH on Cement Hill is WAY too fast, even for a sober person!

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  • CD BrooksOctober 10, 2012 - 6:22 am

    Gemma, 36 MPH is too fast on that road. This was another easily avoidable criminal act and another person is dead. Everyone should remember that driving while impaired (intoxicated, texting, or talking on the phone), is dangerous and illegal. On roads across the states, there are signs posted and areas set aside for you to pull over and park if you're drowsy. Listen, you can complain about everything you want but even sober, jumping in your car and speeding around town, running stop signs and red lights makes you no better than the DUI criminals. You are breaking the law and risking lives with that behavior. Think about it, slow down and be safe.

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