After months of legal wrangling and preparation, the trial of Edward Miller has finally begun. Miller, as you may remember, was charged in the death of Steve Barbour, a local Columbus cycling figure who was well-loved by many in the city's cycling community.
Barbour was hit by Miller's pickup in the early morning hours of July 18, 2009, as he made his way to the beginning of a group ride he was scheduled to lead. He died of head injuries four days after the collision.
Miller is being charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in Barbour's death, a collision that the prosecution asserts was caused by Miller's drunken state and his lack of sleep over the previous 24 hours. Miller had been bar-hopping with a friend, former local TV anchorman Gabe Spiegel, when the collision occurred at 5:55 AM on westbound Cemetery Road.
Spiegel is claiming that Miller had only consumed three or four drinks over a four-to-six hour period and was not impaired, but that he didn't see the accident due to his having been texting when Barbour was struck by Miller's pickup. They apparently considered calling a taxi, but decided that Miller was not impaired and could drive Spiegel home.
The defense is attempting to assert that the sobriety tests were conducted improperly and with faulty equipment, and that Barbour's death is his own fault, claiming he was riding in the dark with dark clothing and no lights on his bicycle. But friends have testified that Barbour had both a battery-powered headlight and a generator powered headlight on his bike, as well as a battery powered rear blinker light.
Assistant Prosecutor Keith McGrath has announced that he has more evidence than the 0.106 blood alcohol content that Miller exhibited that evening to show that Miller was impaired at the time of the collision.