Jury to continue deliberations Friday in Boca Raton vehicular homicide case

Jurors haven't reached a verdict for Wesley Brown
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 19:30:23-05

Jury deliberations will continue Friday morning in the trial of a teenager charged with crashing into and killing a Boca Raton woman.

16-year-old Wesley Brown admitted to driving a car which collided with Wendy Harris-Aceves on November 1, 2015. The crash killed Harris-Aceves instantly.

Attorneys presented their closing arguments Thursday morning. Jurors debated the case for nearly five hours before the judge sent them home for the night.

Earlier in the week, Brown testified in his own defense. He said he asked to drive the car of an acquaintance from his Deerfield Beach neighborhood. The acquaintance was on probation and the car had been reported stolen.

While in Boca Raton, police started to follow the car, having recognized it from the stolen vehicle reports. Brown said the acquaintance, who was in the passenger’s seat, threatened to kill him if he pulled over. So Brown, who was 15 at the time, said he kept driving.

Brown went on to say the situation triggered an asthma attack. He subsequently took his hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road to look for his inhaler. He said he passed out moments before the crash.

“He does not remember that crash because he did not experience that crash consciously,” argued public defender Renee Sihvola.

Prosecutors countered with evidence proving Brown slowed down before crashing into Harris-Aceves. They said that shows Brown did not lose consciousness, but was in control of the car the entire time.

One prosecutor pointed out Brown did not mention his asthma attack to paramedics on scene.

“He told them he had asthma, but he never said he had an asthma attack. Does that make any sense?” Assistant State Attorney Laura Laurie asked.

The crash happened on a Sunday night at the intersection of Palmetto Park Road and NW 2nd Avenue in Boca Raton. Harris-Aceves was on her way to pick up her daughter from a school dance.