The retrial started Wednesday for a teenager accused of crashing into and killing a Boca Raton woman in 2015.
Testifying in court, 16-year-old Wesley Brown told the jury that he never meant to crash into and kill Wendy Harris-Aceves, a mom of two from Boca Raton. Brown spoke feet from her grieving parents.
“I didn't know that I crashed into her car,” Brown said from the stand. “I thought I crashed into a wall or tree or something. I couldn't really see anything but smoke and glass like everywhere.”
Brown said minutes before the crash at the intersection of Northwest 2nd Avenue and Palmetto Park Road, he had an asthma attack and lost control of the stolen Ford Mustang he was driving.
“I took my hands off the steering wheel,” said Brown. “I was looking around for my inhaler. I couldn’t find it.”
Brown testified that he thought the passenger in his car, Jacquan Strowbridge, a convicted felon, was going to shoot him if he didn't flee from police.
“I was told to not stop the car and Jacquan told me if I stop it he's going to kill me,” said Brown.
But the prosecutor argued that brown had choices and made a bad decision not to pull over before reaching the intersection where the fatal wreck happened that took Wendy's life.
“Several opportunities to pull over is that correct?,” asked the prosecutor. “Right,” replied Brown. The prosecutor asked again, “Several opportunities for you to stop before you reached that intersection right?” Brown replied, “Right.”
Brown remains in juvenile detention at the Palm Beach County Jail.
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
The retrial will resume Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 10G