[UPDATE] Gregory Junkin DUI Manslaughter Sentencing

By: Julie Montanaro, Jennifer Milton Email
By: Julie Montanaro, Jennifer Milton Email

Updated 8pm 3-22 by Jennifer Milton

"Kelly and Lacey's children will not watch their children grow, see them get married or have children and become grandparents," said Christina Murray.

Family members of both the victims and the defendant shared their pain with a judge at the sentencing hearing of 41-year-old Gregory Junkin, who was charged with 2 counts of DUI manslaughter for the 2009 car wreck that killed 32-year-old Lacy Murray and 29-year-old Kelly Fail.

The judge sentenced Junkin to 15 years in prison, followed by 5 years probation.

"There's no law that says you can't drink, but the law certainly clearly states that people can't drink and drive. There are consequences that should, large consequences that should be had by individuals that do that," said Kelly Fail's mother Debra Joullian.

Junkin's family declined to speak to us on camera. The judge also ordered Junkin's license be permanently suspended.
UPDATE 3-22-2011 5:21 pm

Gregory Junkin was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years probation in the wake of his conviction for a drunk driving crash that killed two of his friends.

Tune in tonight to Eyewitness News for reaction to the sentencing.


UPDATE 1/27/2011 at 10:45pm By Candace Sweat

A Tallahassee man is found guilty and could face 30 years behind bars for his part in a drunk driving crash that killed two of his friends.

Gregory Junkin sat quietly, eyes closed, before the jury was called back into the courtroom. After two and a half hours of deliberation, they had a verdict.

The judge read the verdict.

"We the jury find as follows as to count one of the information, the defendant, Gregory Junkin, is guilty of manslaughter by driving under the influence relating to Mr. Murray. We the jury find as follows as to count two of the information, the defendant Gregory Junkin, is guilty of manslaughter by driving under the influence as to Ms. Fail."

Junkin didn't say word. He hung his head and sat down. Family members on both sides sat still, sobbing quietly, as they were previously warned by the judge not to cause a scene.

"I will not tolerate any reaction to the verdict either way," said the judge.

Just minutes later, Junkin was handcuffed and lead out of the courtroom, crying as he walked past his family.

It was a victory for the prosecutor, who says he's pleased with the outcome, but it's not over just yet.

"It's obviously and emotional case where tow parents lost their lives on that night and hopefully it can bring some closure to these loses," said Assistant State Attorney, Jack Campbell.

Junkin is accused of driving drunk the night his truck crashed into a tree on Old Bainbridge Road in January 2009, killing his friends Kelly Fail and Lacy Murray. Now, Junkin, who is 40 years old, faces up to 30 years in prison.

A sentencing date has not yet been set. However, Junkin has requested a pre sentencing investigation.

Eyewitness News attempted to speak with Junkin's family members as well as the victims' family, but both sides declined to comment. Junkin's attorney also declined to make a statement.
UPDATED 1.27.2011 7pm

A jury deliberated for two and a half hours Thursday before finding Gregory Junkin guilty on two counts of DUI manslaughter.

He faces up to 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set yet.

Junkin's family and the families of victims Kelley Fail and Lacy Murray declined to comment on the verdict.
[UPDATE] 1-27 3:10PM --

Gregory Junkin found guilty on both counts of DUI Manslaughter.


[UPDATE] 1-27 2:50PM --

The jury has reached a verdict. The judge is about to call them in.


[UPDATE] 1-27 Noon

A jury is now deliberating on the DUI manslaughter case of Gregory Junkin. The jury started reviewing evidence at 12:30PM. A verdict is expected this afternoon.


UPDATED 1/26/2001 11:50pm By Candace Sweat

The Defense called three expert witnesses to the stand who all say Junkin was not the one behind the wheel when the pickup he was in collided with a tree. And to bolster their argument, they even let the jury see the damaged truck for themselves.

"We're going to walk down and allow you to see the truck. You will be allowed to look at it, walk around it," said the judge.

The jurors were led out of the courtroom to a downstairs garage to take a good look at the wrecked truck. It is the damaged vehicle that Gregory Junkin was in when it collided with a tree back in 2009, killing his friends Kelly Fail and Lacy Murray.

"I would expect that whoever was occupying that driver compartment to have experienced the full force of the same violence that caused the defamation of that driver's compartment," Michael Arnall, M.D.

Junkin is facing DUI manslaughter charges for Fail and Murray's deaths. Buthe says he wasn't behind the wheel, rather it was Murray driving at the time.

The Defense called three reconstruction and forensic experts to the stand. All of whom testified that, based on the damage to the truck in comparison to the medical records, they agree it was Murray behind the wheel during the accident, not Junkin.

"In my opinion, with Mr. Murray, the injuries he sustained as documented by the body diagram I showed you earlier is constant with him being the driver," said William Lee, Ph.D.

The state disagrees with that theory, questioning how Murray could have ended up in the back seat where he was found, if he was the one driving.

Ultimately, the jury will decide based on what they've heard, and what they've seen.

The trial will start up again Thursday at 10am where the state and defense are expected to give closing arguments.
UPDATED 126.2011 5:05pm by Julie Montanaro

The defense has rested its case in the DUI manslaughter trial of Gregory Junkin.

Jurors are now being taken to the courthouse parking garage to look at the black pick up involved in the crash.

The judge ruled they will not be allowed to touch it or ask any questions.

Attorneys are expected to deliver closing arguments tomorrow morning at 10am. The case would then go to the jury for deliberations.

UPDATED 1.26.2011 2:40pm by Julie Montanaro

Defense attorneys for Gregory Junkin called an accident reconstruction expert to the stand.

Don Fournier testified that he believed whoever was driving the truck would have sustained injuries similar to those of Kelley Fail, who was sitting in the back seat behind the driver.

Fournier said it was his opinion that Lacy Murray was driving the pick up truck when it crashed.

Fournier says he believes Junkin was a passenger in the car, most likely in the front seat, but possibly in the back.

UPDATED 1.26.2011 2:30 by Julie Montanaro

The state has rested its case against Gregory Junkin.

The defense started calling its witnesses.

Jurors will have a chance to see the truck involved in the crash for themselves later today. It has been brought on a flatbed truck to the courthouse so they can see the damage.
[UPDATE] 1-26 11:20AM -- by Julie Montanaro

The medical examiner is now on the stand and prosecutors are showing a series of autopsy photos to the jury. Dr. Lisa Flannagan says Kelley Fail died of traumatic head injuries. Flannagan testified that Lacy Murray had massive internal injuries including a fractured spine and torn aorta. Flannagan ruled that he died of blunt chest trauma. Flannagan believes both were unconscious upon impact and essentially dead on impact with the tree.


[UPDATE] 1-26 10:25AM -- by Julie Montanaro

Dr. Mark Cuffe, a neurosurgeon who examined Gregory Junkin later the same day, testified that Junkin did suffer a minor concussion in the crash and did lose consciousness, though he could not specify for how long.


[UPDATE] 1-26 9:45AM -- by Julie Montanaro

Testimony has resumed in the DUI manslaughter trial
of Gregory Junkin. Emergency room doctor Marcus Willett is on the
stand first. He examined Junkin the night of the crash and determined he had suffered some back injuries and was intoxicated, but had no life threatening injuries.

WCTV has a reporter in court. Stay with us for the latest.


UPDATED 1.25.2011 5:35pm by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man is now on trial for a deadly drunk driving crash that killed two of his friends.

Gregory Junkin faces up to 30 years if he's convicted, but his attorney claims there is no proof Junkin was behind the wheel that night.

Tony Geraldi was the first deputy on scene that night in January 2009.

He testified he saw Gregory Junkin beside a black truck, cradling his friend in his arms and screaming.

"Wake up, baby, wake up," Geraldi recalled. "They're my friends, they're my friends. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Junkin is accused of two counts of DUI manslaughter for the death of his friends, Kelley Fail and Lacy Murray.

Prosecutors contend Junkin had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit when he lost control of his pick up truck on Old Bainbridge Road and slammed into an oak tree.

Fail and Murray were both dead on the scene in the backseat of Junkin's truck.

"Greg Junkin made the choice to drink alcohol and he made the choice to get behind the wheel," prosecutor Jack Campbell told the jury.

Yet Junkin's attorney claims there is no DNA, no fiber and no witness who can prove Junkin was driving at the time.

"This is a case of forensic science," defense attorney Don Pumphrey said.

And without naming any names, he suggested that one of Junkin's dead friends was behind the wheel.

"The driver of that vehicle on that night did not survive," Pumphrey told the jury.

Testimony in the trial is slated to continue tomorrow and last at through Thursday.

[UPDATE] 1-25 9:50AM

Prosecutors contend Junkin was driving the night of
the crash and tests revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .170
Defense attorneys contend there is no proof that Junkin was driving
and suggests one of those killed was actually driving.


[UPDATE] 1-25 9:15AM

A Tallahassee man is now on trial for a deadly crash
that claimed the lives of two of his friends. Gregory Junkin is facing
two counts of DUI manslaughter for the January 2009 deaths of Lacy
Murray and Kelley Fail. Prosecutors say they were killed when Junkin
lost control of his pick up truck on Old Bainbridge Road. Attorneys
are now making opening statements to the jury.


UPDATED 1.24.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man is poised to stand trial for a drunk driving crash that claimed the lives of two passengers in his pick up truck.

Gregory Junkin is facing two counts of DUI manslaughter for a crash back on January 23, 2009 that killed 28 year-old Kelley Fail and 32 year-old Lacey Murray.

It happened near the intersection of Old Bainbridge Road and Perkins Road in the wee hours of the morning. Deputies say Junkin lost control of his pick up truck, veered off the road, over-corrected, crossed into the other lane and slammed into a tree.

Attorneys selected a jury to hear the case today (1-24-11), almost two years to the day after the crash.

Testimony is slated to begin tomorrow (1-25-11) and last through Thursday.

Official Release of Information from Leon County Sheriff's Office:

On January 23, 2009, at approximately 2:30AM, Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on Old Bainbridge Road, between Perkins Road and Camden Road. A 2001 Ford F-150 Quad Cab truck driven by Gregory Junkin was northbound on Old Bainbridge Road just north of Sherborne Road when the vehicle impacted a tree on the westbound side of the roadway.

The impact of the crash resulted in the death of Lacy Albert Murray III, 32yoa, and Kelley Sue Fail, 29yoa.

An investigation by Leon County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Investigators revealed that as Junkin was traveling northbound on Old Bainbridge Road he entered a curve, just past Sherborne Road, at a high rate of speed. The vehicle left the east side of the road then crossed over to the west side of the road impacting a tree and
killing Fail and Murray who were both sitting in the back seat.

Toxicology reports obtained by investigators have determined that Junkin was driving under the influence at the time of the crash. Junkin’s blood alcohol level was .171; this is above the legal limit of .08.

Thursday evening (7/2) Junkin was arrested for two counts of Manslaughter by Driving Under the Influence and booked into the Leon County Jail.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 27, 2011 at 07:24 PM
    I felt safer driving around tonight knowing one less drunk driver was out on the roads.
  • by Friend Location: Melb. on Mar 26, 2011 at 07:43 PM
    Well said JJS1210!All of you others who have posted negative comments have no class and apparently are uneducated! Leave these families alone and get on with your lives such as they are. Good luck Junkin family on any appeal that you may have in the making. Do not pay attention to these low life's that have no life! God be with you!
  • by JJS1210 Location: Live Oak on Mar 26, 2011 at 07:38 AM
    At the sentencing, Mr. and Mrs. Murray, Lacy's parents, got up and spoke on Greg Junkin's behalf. They offered love where they could have easily offered hatred. By doing so, they showed by example humanity at its best. That is grace at work. And that is perhaps the only way to heal. The malice and name-calling on this site serves no purpose and we forget that the true victims in this tragedy were not present in the accident. They are the three families and the seven children whose lives have been tremendously altered by this tragedy, who had no input whatsoever as to how the events of January 23, 2009, played out, and who are left trying to rebuild their lives. If we want to make good come of this tragic situation, we should set aside the angry words, pray for the families and do what we can to assist the children left to grow up without a parent.
    • reply
      by Guest on Mar 26, 2011 at 02:35 PM in reply to JJS1210
      That may be the most coherent comment I've read so far in this entire forum.
    • reply
      by Thank you on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:48 AM in reply to JJS1210
      Thnak you so much for saying such kind words... I agree wonderful.. and we forever will stand by Greg Junkin!!
  • by Shakespeare on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM
    His name is Greg Junkin, he was driving while drunken, killed an innocent person, his name we should be cursin, a trial by his peers, gave him fifteen years, he was guilty by a mile, his friends are in denial
  • by Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011 at 07:50 AM
    OJ and Greg Drunkin are both guilty, any more dumb questions?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011 at 03:00 PM in reply to
      Yes. OJ was guilty - and yet the trial by jury system failed. Oh, wait. The system failed. Now I see the correlation.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 24, 2011 at 01:33 PM
    Nope Avalon, Greg Drunkin was at fault, it's been proven in a court of lie, you are in denial but you're friend is a drunk driving killer.
  • by Avalon Flaum Location: South Africa on Mar 24, 2011 at 12:23 PM
    I sincerly hope that theres a lawyer out there that will help Gregory with an APPEAL. Please APPEAL! All three men were at fault.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM
    My next question is did they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Gregory was actully driving the vehical?"-gee, maybe them declaring him GUILTY gives you the answer to that stupid question?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 24, 2011 at 09:41 PM in reply to
      So do you believe OJ was innocent?
  • by Avalon Flaum Location: South Africa on Mar 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM
    First my sympathy with the families that lost loved ones in this horrible accident. I would now like to ask a couple questions.Did anyone force those people to get into that vehicle. Did somebody hold a gun to their head? They had all been drinking and as far as I'm concerned friends don't let drunk friends drive! My next question is did they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Gregory was actully driving the vehical?
  • by just sayin Location: tallahassee on Mar 24, 2011 at 06:55 AM
    I really think that anyone that makes a conscious to ride with someone that has been drinking is just as much at fault as the person driving. As tragic as it is they decided to get in the vehicle with him knowing they had children, it could have just as easily been one of them driving. It doesnt make it any better but its a little ridiculous to make him serve 15 yrs when they made the decision to ride with him. If it had been a random person he killed then by all means make him serve life.
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