Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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July 8, 2014

Testimony begins in intoxication manslaughter case


PALO PINTO – Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of David Wendell Kilcrease, 48, of Mineral Wells, charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of Billie Charles Thresher.

Thresher, 57, died after a Dec. 21 crash at the intersection of Keller Road and U.S Highway 180 west of Mineral Wells.

The trial is taking place before 29th Judicial District Court Judge Michael Moore.

In his opening remarks, District Attorney Michael Burns told the four-woman, eight-man jury what he believed the evidence would show.

He explained Kilcrease and his girlfriend, Tina Price, went that afternoon to visit their friend, Sidney Upton, who, along with his girlfriend, asked them to help move a refrigerator. The four rode in Upton's pickup to deliver the refrigerator. They then heard from Thresher, who also needed help moving a refrigerator.

Around 6:30 p.m. that, after they had helped Thresher move his refrigerator, all five went to a bar in Upton's pickup, Burns said. They drank beer and played pool until about 8:30 p.m., and then returned to Upton's home off North Keller Road, where Kilcrease, Price and Thresher stayed until about 10:30 p.m.

Kilcrease, Price and Thresher left in Kilcrease's 2000 Ford Taurus that Kilcrease was driving, Burns said.

“They left Upton's house, taking Thresher home,” he said.

Burns described the driving conditions as dark, hazy and foggy. “As they came to the stop sign, the defendant pulled out on 180.”

At the moment Kilcrease pulled out onto the highway, a 1993 Ford F-250 driven by Robert Allen Hulit, 64, of Weatherford, hit the Taurus broadside, Burns said. The crash killed Thresher and he was pronounced dead at the scene around 11:15 p.m.

“The accident,” Burns told the jury evidence would show, “was caused by the defendant failing to yield.”

“He was like a big brother to me,” Upton said of his friend Thresher when he testified.

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