Jurors visit scene of deadly crash on day three of Jacob Heil’s trial


The courtroom during Jacob Heil Case October 12, 2021.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Wednesday is day three of the trial against Jacob Heil. Heil is charged in connection with the death of Marco Shemwell.

More officers who worked the scene took the stand Wednesday along with people who witnessed the crash.

Wednesday morning, we heard two key testimonies: one from Lexington Police officer Brandon Muravchick, who conducted Jacob Heil’s field sobriety tests, and the other from Crystal Johnson, the woman who said she was standing behind the Shemwells on Cooper Drive right before the crash happened.

Officer Muravchick conducted several field sobriety tests on Jacob Heil including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test, and the walk-and-turn test.

Muravchick said Heil passed some parts of the tests but showed signs of impairment on others. Muravchick arrested Heil for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

Attorneys then shifted their attention to Crystal Johnson. She, her husband, and granddaughter were walking behind the Shemwells on Cooper Drive. She showed attorneys where Marco, his brother, and dad were standing right before the crash.

She said she saw the car hit Marco but did not see the car leave the road. She immediately dialed 911.

Johnson was visibly shaken and the Shemwell family was in tears as the 911 recording was played in the courtroom.


Johnson said Heil got out of the car after the crash, rushed over to Marco and his dad wanting to help, but the dad told him to go away.

Here’s what Johnson then said to Heil: “I just, something about right now, he can’t accept your help. You just have to let him do what he has to do.”

Johnson said she told Heil to call his parents in which he agreed to do so.

Up next was crime lab investigator Sarah Hobson. She showed autopsy photos of Marco’s bruises.

Defense attorneys only brought up one witness on Wednesday, Heil’s youth pastor Mac Holt. Holt said Heil called him the day of the crash and did not sound impaired.

Day 3 of the trial ended with Heil, attorneys, and jurors visiting the scene to get a final look at where the crash took place.

The trial is set to wrap on Thursday with closing arguments. The case will then be put in the hands of the jury.

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