Teen driver in fatal Brownsburg crash denies wrongdoing, trial date set

Hendricks County

The teenager charged in connection with a fatal Brownsburg, Ind. crash that killed one teenager and seriously injured three others appeared in court Monday morning.

In the Hendricks County juvenile court, Chris Hubbard, 17, denied wrong doing in the charges against him.  He was charged with one count of driving under the influence causing death and three counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury.  

Hubbard is accused of crashing a Pontiac Grand Am in the 6900 block of County Road 550 East on the morning of May 19.  Passenger Nathan Gentry, 18, was riding in the backseat and was killed in the accident. 

The front-seat passenger, 18-year-old Shawn Bloomquist, was transported to the hospital in critical condition.  Police said he was the only person in the vehicle wearing a seatbelt. Taylor LaMonte, 16, sustained a dislocated knee, a broken leg, broken hip, broken pelvis and two broken arms.  Ian Cherco, 16, sustained injuries but was released from the hospital the following day.

Hubbard also sustained serious injuries after the crash.  He suffered a hip fracture, punctured lung and a cracked sternum.  When he appeared in court Monday, Hubbard used a walker for assistance. 

Police said they were able to determine drugs and alcohol were factors in the crash due to statements and evidence gathered at the scene.

Although Hubbard denied wrong doing, his attorneys can still admit wrongdoing in the case at a later time. Defense attorneys John and Annie Fierek stated Hubard is remorseful about the accident and they are proceeding with the case.

Hubbard's attorneys said they needed more time to go over the evidence presented by the prosecutors. 

"We're going to continue to go through the discovery, see if there's anything else out there,” said John Fierek. “And then make a decision on whether we are going to make an admission or stand by the denial that was entered today."

The prosecutors in the case said they have 40 witnesses and will call on them to testify about the crash.

Individuals may also be called to talk about the party the teens had been to the night before the crash at the home of Bloomquist. Police searched that home days after the crash, but they have not said what they found.
  
After initially citing drugs and alcohol in the crash, they have not released toxicology results on Hubbard or the other teens in the car.
  
Since the prosecutor charged Hubbard as a juvenile, it is not clear if he would face any time behind bars.

"Of course you always want your client to be released to probation should he admit to the charges, but like I said, there's still too many unknowns due to the volume of paperwork we received to give any type of resolution on what we think the sentence would be,” said Annie Fierek.

It is something that does not sit well with the father of Gentry. Al Gentry said he is also upset that no one else has been charged in the case.

"I mean it's unfortunate,” said Al Gentry. “There's a lot of things that lead up to this, a lot of responsibility out there.  I guess we'll just see what happens when it happens."

A trial is scheduled to begin on July 2.  However, the date could be pushed back if the defense determines they need additional time to examine evidence.
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