GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Closing arguments are expected to begin shortly in the trial of a former assistant prosecutor charged in a Grand Rapids crash that injured a man.
Josh Kuiper is charged with reckless driving causing serious injury and a moving violation causing serious injury in connection to the November 2016 crash.
After a night of drinking, Kuiper drove the wrong way down a one-way street and hit a parked car, injuring its owner, Dan Empson.
Kuiper and his defense team aren't disputing that he caused the crash or that he was driving recklessly. The question for the jury to answer is whether the victim's injuries constituted "serious impairment."
Tuesday, Kuiper’s defense team called orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frederic Levin to the stand to discuss Empson’s condition following the crash.
Levin called Empson’s injuries “minor” and “trivial,” saying x-rays showed his fracture had fully healed after about 2.5 months.
The defense rested without calling Kuiper to the stand.
Jurors heard from another orthopedic surgeon Monday. Dr. Tim Lenters testified Empson suffered a fractured bone in his shoulder and was in a sling for six weeks. The doctor also testified that type of injury typically takes between six and nine months to fully heal.
Under cross-examination from the defense, Lenters said that in Empson's case, the fracture fully healed after about 2.5 months, and conceded he had called the injury a “minor fracture” during an earlier hearing.