A Baton Rouge man’s DNA was found on the driver’s airbag of a car involved in a fatal police chase-related crash last year, a collision that occurred eight hours after an armed robbery where he has been identified as the robber, witnesses testified Wednesday.
Brian White, 21, is standing trial in the 19th Judicial District Court on charges of manslaughter, aggravated flight from an officer, hit-and-run involving death or serious injury, and armed robbery.
East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors claim White, who was 19 at the time, was fleeing from police in a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis about 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2014, when he ran two stop signs and smashed into a 1989 Lincoln Town Car driven by Elvin Dunn Jr., 37.
The impact of the collision at Fairfields Avenue and North 30th Street ejected Dunn from his car, killing him.
Baton Rouge Police Lt. Dave Mays testified he tried to stop White for a minor traffic violation at North Acadian Thruway and Choctaw Drive when he accelerated the car at a high speed. He then noticed the car had no license plate. Mays, who said his speed never topped 40 mph, witnessed the crash and saw three men run from the Grand Marquis.
Sgt. James Pittman estimated the car was traveling at about 51 mph in a 30 mph zone when it hit the left rear corner of Dunn’s car, which was moving at 20 mph.
Torrance Slaughter on Wednesday identified White as the armed man who robbed him of his cellphone off Greenwell Springs Road about eight hours before the deadly crash. Slaughter also identified the green Grand Marquis that White and two other black males allegedly were riding in at the time of the robbery.
One of the other men, Melvin Morgan, 19, is scheduled to stand trial March 21 on an armed robbery charge.
Detective Paul Barbin testified a gun was found inside the Grand Marquis at the crash site and another gun was located in a nearby yard. White’s DNA was not found on either gun, Barbin said, but his DNA was discovered on the driver’s deployed airbag.
Dunn’s mother, Michelle Dunn, testified her son — a Belle of Baton Rouge security guard — had just left her house after a routine Monday evening family gathering when he was killed.
The trial will resume Thursday in state District Judge Beau Higginbotham’s courtroom.