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FSU Student on Trial for DUI Manslaughter

FSU student Sevag Davidian was killed in a crash, and now his friend, Keith Schmalz, is on trial, accused of killing him while driving drunk.

Twenty-two-year-old Keith Schmalz is accused of being behind the wheel the night his brand new SUV went airborne and crashed into six parked cars.

The accident in August 2003 took the life of longtime friend Sevag Davidian. OFC Timothy Hartley was the first officer on scene and the first to find Davidian.

OFC Timothy Hartley of the FSU Police Department says, "He was face down, unresponsive, his breathing was labored and he was also bleeding from the head."

Prosecutors say they have Schmalz on tape admitting he was driving that night. Tests show his blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit, but Schmalz's attorney says no one, not even two friends who survived the crash, can swear Schmalz was behind the wheel. He suggested a friend who staggered away from the crash scene may have been driving.

Richard Smith, Schmalz's attorney, says, "What will become clear during the testimony in this trial is that there is no law enforcement officer who can tell you who was driving that night."

Pictures of the crash scene showing Schmalz's SUV atop another car may have had the biggest impact on jurors, but it was a picture of his dead friend that seemed to have the biggest impact on Keith Schmalz.

The two friends who survived the crash are expected to testify. The trial will continue Friday.


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