Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

DUI manslaughter charge dropped in motorcycle crash case

TAMPA — Prosecutors dropped a DUI-manslaughter charge against a Deltona man on Tuesday, two weeks before he was headed to trial.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office didn't have enough evidence against Jeffrey D. Freson to proceed, Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said.

"Ultimately, it was determined we could not prove the defendant was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, nor was there sufficient evidence to prove that he caused the accident," she said.

Freson, 43, cried when he learned he would no longer face up to 15 years in prison, said his attorney, Daniel Fernandez.

Joshua G. Motsinger, a 24-year-old from Gibsonton, was on his way home from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting on Nov. 27, 2007, when his motorcycle collided with Freson's truck at an intersection in Brandon.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Freson's eyes were glassy and he smelled of alcohol.

Jail records showed his blood alcohol content was 0.07 percent. Under state law, a driver is presumed impaired with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, but drivers with lower levels may be charged if an officer observes indications of impaired driving.

Ahead of trial, Fernandez worked to show prosecutors why his client shouldn't be charged.

Fernandez said it took 21/2 hours for someone to draw Freson's blood, which then sat on a shelf for another two months before it was analyzed for alcohol content.

A defense expert said Freson's blood alcohol was 0.04, Fernandez said, more in line with Freson's receipt from his Chili's dinner that night, which showed he bought only one alcoholic drink.

Witnesses recalled that Motsinger was driving dangerously, speeding as he wove in and out of traffic, according to Fernandez.

The attorney said he and his client felt terrible about Motsinger's death but "bottom line, (Freson) really wasn't responsible for the accident, and he was not impaired."

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

DUI manslaughter charge dropped in motorcycle crash case 03/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Journal: Duda home run sets Rays record

    Blogs

    BALTIMORE -- With one swing of the bat, Rays DH/1B Lucas Duda broke a team record and tied a personal mark in Saturday's game against the Orioles that was not complete at press time.

    Lucas Duda, right, watches his three-run home run against the Orioles.
  2. Brooksville motorcyclist crashes into pole, dies

    Blogs

    BROOKSVILLE — A motorcyclist crashed into a utility pole and died Saturday evening, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

  3. Woman dead in St. Petersburg shooting

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman died in a shooting Saturday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  4. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with a different look to things

    Blogs

    The Rays wrap up their four-game series with the Orioles today and their lineup has a different look, with C Wilson Ramos, OF Steven Souza Jr. and 3B Evan Longoria all getting the day off.

    The Rays are starting their All-Star, RHP Chris Archer, who needs wins in his final two outings to even his record, going …

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.