On July 9, 2019, a preliminary hearing date was set for Johnston Taylor, 16, to continue the investigation into the accident that led to the death of Rod and Paula Bramblett. But one week later, the hearing was withdrawn by Taylor’s attorney.
On May 25, Taylor struck the Brambletts' car at the intersection of Shug Jordan Parkway near West Samford Avenue at nearly 90 miles per hour, according to a police investigation. The investigation did not find that phone usage or alcohol was involved, but Taylor had marijuana in his system at the time of the wreck, and he told police he fell asleep while driving and didn't remember what happened.
Taylor was charged with two counts of manslaughter and is being tried as an adult.
Thomas Spina, the defense attorney working with Taylor, waived the right to a preliminary hearing. According to Spina, this is a fairly normal practice.
“I generally don’t like to have preliminary hearings to begin with, but I ask for them because it moves cases forward,” Spina said. “In this instance I waived our right to a preliminary hearing because I was able to obtain from the DAs office what I needed to obtain, and would have been able to obtain from a preliminary hearing.”
The preliminary hearing was set for July 31, 2019, but since it will be bypassed, the case will go straight to the grand jury at a later date.
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