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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An 80-year-old man accused of causing a crash that killed an Orange County deputy made a court appearance Tuesday to fight a $164 ticket.
In January of 2017, officials with the Florida Highway Patrol said Billie Jarrard made a left turn directly into the path of deputy Norm Lewis’ motorcycle along Pine Hills Road.
Lewis, an 11-year-veteran, was setting up a perimeter in the search for Markeith Loyd, who is accused of gunning down Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton earlier that day.
Billie Jarrard, whom FHP said no longer drives, was cited for failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
Tuesday’s court hearing means more than just fighting a ticket, said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
“You want to win this case and present such a defense that the evidence is so overwhelming that a personal injury lawyer says, ‘I am not taking this case,’” Sheaffer said.
Jarrard’s attorneys could argue Lewis was speeding because of the nature of the call, but FHP said the deputy was only going 15 mph over the speed limit.
Court records show the defense has hired an accident reconstruction specialist who will introduce pictures of the scene. The defense will call several witnesses to testify.
Jarrard's attorney has not responded to requests for comment.