Behning and Shoemaker testify as the case enters the hands of the jury

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Behning takes the stand

The jury in the Logan Shoemaker trial is expected to begin their deliberations Thursday morning.

It comes as attorneys rest their cases and deliver their closing arguments on the second day of the trial.

The jury also heard from the two central people in this case with Buffalo Police Chief T.J. Behning and defendant Logan Shoemaker testify.

The 21-year-old is on trial of five charges including attempted murder.

It stems from a September 2017 incident where prosecutors said Shoemaker stole a garbage truck and crashed it into Behning during a police pursuit.

Shoemaker said he didn’t act with intent when the truck collided with Behning and his squad.

Behning was up first, concluding the state’s portion of this trial. 

After the jury heard from others about the crash, now the man recovering from it gets to tell his story.
Behning said he got set up at an intersection after following along with radio traffic of the pursuit that started in Davenport and was heading to Buffalo. Behning said when he set up on the road, he left an open lane for Shoemaker. 

Behning said, “I was going to let him go almost to my squad before I threw my stop sticks out, thinking, cause I wanted him to go by.”

But that’s not what happened.

Behning said, “My Tahoe basically exploded. I mean it came right at me, and I had nowhere to go.”

After he stopped rolling, Behning said he remembers thinking he needed getting out of the way with pursuing police cars coming by. 

Behning said, “Made it to my feet, then I tried to get out of the street but my legs were both broken, so I kind of fell and rolled into the ditch there.”

Behning said it was a tourniquet that saved his life.
Body camera video was shown to the jury of crews treating Behning, during which time Behning is answering questions and talking about what happened. 

Behning said on the video, “I got knocked back under my car, and my legs got ran over.”

Behning listed the multiple life-threatening injuries, recounted about 15 surgeries and months in bed, along with the slow but continuous work toward recovery. 

Behning said, “Learned to stand for 10 seconds, the next day I would try to get 15, slowly just try to build up.”

Now, Behning said he can walk with a cane and for the most part is healed, but long term is still a question mark because of nerve damage. 

Behning said “Searching for a path, and it doesn’t know where to go cause it’s not connected properly, so it just burns constantly. My foot right now, it’s always numb. It’s always burning. It’s always in terrible pain.”

Behning said right now he’s waiting to see if the nerve will grow back.

Next, while on the stand, Shoemaker admitted to much of what’s been presented as evidence during the two days of the trial, but was clear he never had a gun at any point, unlike a state witness testified to the previous day and didn’t intentionally crash into Behning or his squad.
He said it started when Katie Hutchison asked him to leave and did want a relationship with him. 
Shoemaker said at the time, he was high on drugs and wasn’t acting rationally.

Shoemaker said, “I was under the influence of methamphetamine, and I’m sure I had warrants. I wasn’t ready to quit my addiction.”

He said that’s why he led police on a chase through four jurisdictions and even stealing a garbage truck.

Shoemaker said, “I opened the door to the garbage truck and told him to get out, and he wasn’t getting out so I grabbed him and he was grabbing his bag, and I told him if he didn’t get out I would shot him.”

But Shoemaker said when he got behind the wheel, he was surprised by how long he was able to stay on the road.

Shoemaker said, “A lot of luck came with driving that garbage truck. I’m surprised that more damage wasn’t done.”

Then he came to the intersection where Behning was preparing to deploy stop sticks.

Shoemaker said, “My goal was to get around, was to come at the squad car and come around and take that right, right there.”

But Shoemaker said he lost control and ended up bracing for impact. 
He told the jury, he didn’t try to crash into the squad car or the chief and didn’t realize Behning was hit until police officers told Shoemaker. 

Shoemaker said, “Officer asked me to look at the other officer, and I asked him what was wrong with that officer, and he told me that I hit him.”

Shoemaker’s lawyer said his client is not guilty of attempted murder, willful injury and first-degree robbery. 

The jury will begin the work to determine that Thursday. 
 

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