Man accused in deadly crash appears in court - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man accused in deadly crash appears in court

Clayton Rogers Clayton Rogers

A Wilson County man accused of killing an oncologist in a DUI crash was back in court Thursday.

Troopers said Clayton Rogers, 20, T-boned Dr. Eric Raefsky's car on Aug. 5 after running a red light.

Thursday, the district attorney laid out its case during Rogers' preliminary hearing for reckless endangerment.

Rogers stared at the floor as deputies led him into the courtroom in handcuffs to hear the list of charges against him.

Rogers was in court for two cases: violating house arrest for underage drinking the night of the crash and a preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to move his case to Criminal Court.

Asst. DA Linda Walls laid out her case, questing witness after witness about what they saw the night Raefsky was killed in the crash on Mt. Juliet Road.

Justin Henry was behind Raefsky's car and said Rogers never hit his brakes.

"You could actually feel the collision two cars back," Henry said. "There was dust and everything was flying."

At times, Rogers hung his head as witnesses described the scene. Trooper Shane Roberts with the Tennessee Highway Patrol read Rogers' blood alcohol level at the time of the crash.

"The ethyl alcohol came back at .184," Roberts said.

Raefsky's family fought back tears as witnesses testified about the oncologist's final moments.

"I can't believe that we're here in a courtroom hearing this case and hearing details about what happened that night," said Stacy Maciuk, Raefsky's foster daughter. "Looking at the person who did this to our family, it's hard."

While it was hard, the family needed to be in the courtroom to make sure justice is served. For Maciuk, that means getting the maximum sentence.

"I hope during that time he has a lot of time to reflect on the choices that he made that evening," she said. "They're choices that we have to live with for the rest of our lives. Choices that thousands of patients that Eric helped have to live with for the rest of their lives."

Rogers is currently charged with reckless endangerment while the DA waits for autopsy results. That charge carries a maximum two-year sentence.

The DA said those charges will likely be amended to vehicular homicide, which carries an eight to 12-year sentence.

Rogers is expected to be back in court on Oct. 14.

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