Evidence: Man said he drank, took Lortab before deadly hit-and-run
Joseph Wooten charged with DUI manslaughter in death of Bradley Kirk
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New evidence in a deadly hit-and-run shows the driver who was arrested admitted he was under the influence.
Bradley Kirk was killed along West Beaver Street in April 2017. Joseph Wooten was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter.
There was no blood alcohol concentration level submitted in the evidence, but there was video evidence. Janet Johnson, an attorney not affiliated with the case, told News4jax the video evidence alone will not be enough to prove Wooten was intoxicated. Johnson said witness testimony and the admission of guilt from 2017 are key.
News4Jax spoke with Robert Kirk, Bradley Kirk's father, about the new information in the case. He said his son's death has been hard on the family.
"Horrible. Really horrible. Every month going to court, having to live with it every day," Robert Kirk said.
Bradley Kirk was walking home and was hit from behind. The driver never stopped.
Video evidence from inside a bar appears to show Wooten drinking two pitchers of beer and taking two fireball shots before getting on the road.
"I mean it's on film. You can't deny it. It's just like DNA," Robert Kirk said. "It's right there in front of you."
A witness claimed he saw Wooten passed out in a vehicle before driving off. Troopers said Wooten admitted to them that he believes he hit someone.
Investigators said Wooten also admitted to drinking at a bar and taking Lortab, a narcotic, before the crash.
"Driving and hitting someone, and driving away and not caring, that's just cowardly," Robert Kirk said.
The family said Wooten's attorney offered a plea deal of eight years. If convicted, Johnson believes Wooten could face 12 to 15 years in prison.
Bradley Kirk leaves behind three children. One of them, a boy named Liam, is 6 years old.
"He talks about him every day. He wants to see him and he can't," Robert Kirk said.
The family is hopeful justice will be served. Wooten's trial is scheduled to begin in August.
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