Documents: Chaotic scene in Landing death
Witness accounts conflict in hit-and-run death of 22-year-old
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Witnesses describe a chaotic scene of fighting and screaming in a parking lot across the street from the Jacksonville Landing the night a 22-year-old man was hit by a truck in a hit-and-run, ultimately leading to his death, according to documents obtained by Channel 4 on Thursday from the state attorney's office.
Jacksonville police have charged Greg Johnson with murder in the death of his friend, Taylor Evans, after investigators said Johnson started a fight with the driver of the truck that ran over Evans.
According to the nearly 200 pages of documents, there are conflicting accounts of what those in the parking lot saw. Some believe the problem started when a guy punched a girl, while others say a car may have bumped into someone.
Police said Brian Patterson ran over Evans (pictured, right) with his truck in the parking lot after Johnson attacked him through the driver's side window. Investigators charged Johnson (pictured, below) with second-degree murder because they said he was the suspected aggressor.
"We have a tremendous amount of reports that have been generated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, multiple officers, multiple detectives were involved, and the main reason is because there are multiple witnesses who are involved in this case," said attorney Gene Nichols, who's unaffiliated with the case.
Nichols believes there are countless facts to sort through, the fine points of an event the passenger in the car described as an incident that "probably lasted no more than 45 seconds from start to finish."
In the discovery material, witness after witness recalls the chaotic scene differently, leading investigators to note "it was rumored that a female had been punched by the person driving a white pickup truck."
"Almost everybody who was involved out there, from what I read, has a bias in one form or the other through their friendships, what they were doing, whether they were drinking," Nichols said. "Other people seem to have some weapons on them that were listed in the report."
Nearly everyone involved had been drinking that night, including Evans, according to the documents.
In fact, Patterson's blood alcohol content registered at .127, well over the legal limit. He's been charged with DUI.
It's all information that leads up to an unclear chain of events that Evans' family calls devastating.
"I would not wish it on my worst enemy; the grief and the sadness that our family has been through because of it," said Walter Evans, Taylor's father.
Johnson's next court date is scheduled for March.
As for Patterson (pictured, right), the state is still considering whether or not to upgrade his charge to DUI manslaughter. He goes back to court next week.
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