Defense rests in quadruple murder trial

By Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The defense has rested in the trial of 18-year-old Herbert Lee, the man accused of causing the death of his four passengers when he crashed his car into a tree in December of 2008 after attending an event sponsored by a youth organization.

Three brothers - Jemar, Demar and Marc Claybrooks - and their friend, Aaron Shields, died in the crash that tore the stolen Honda Accord in half.

After three days of testimony from witnesses for the prosecution, attorneys for Herbert Lee, 18, called only one witness, Sharonda Moore, who worked for Youth Alive.

Shields and the Claybrooks brothers had been loaded into a Youth Alive van after the event but the driver said it was too full and asked them to find another ride, and that's how they ended up in Lee's car.

During earlier testimony, a former volunteer who goes by Trey says leaders told him his van was too packed that night during the event. To free space, he says he was forced to find the teens a ride, but says he wasn't sure who they were going with.

"I wasn't for sure they were going home with the defendant but I knew they were getting home in some type of way with someone affiliated with Youth Alive," the volunteer said on the stand Tuesday.

He says he was busy with about a dozen other teens, so he wasn't able to keep track of them.

The jury could begin deliberating later today.

Lee could be sentenced to life in prison if he is found guilty of all murder charges. Jurors could also find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

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