There were no empty seats most of the day in the Greene County, Pa. courtroom, where the murder trial of Jerod Green, 36, began Monday.
Green is accused of killing Monongalia County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Michael "Todd" May on Feb. 18, 2012.
The prosecution team led by Greene County District Attorney Marjorie Fox opened the trial Monday. Fox said that Green knew Sgt. May was a law enforcement officer and intended to hurt him by swerving across two lanes of I-79 to ram his cruiser, murdering him.
Green's attorney, John Bongivengo, told the jury that he intended to show evidence that Sgt. May sped up into the path of Green's pickup truck. Bongivengo told jurors his client didn't cause the crash, Sgt. May did.
The streets around the courthouse in Waynesburg, Pa. were filled with Monongalia County Sheriff's Department cruisers, many of them bearing the black band memorial with 124; Sgt. May's unit.
Much of Monday's testimony was tough for witnesses, mostly friends and co-workers of May, to give and difficult for the audience to hear.
May's brother, Frank, broke down into tears on the witness stand, recalling that Todd told him he'd pick up the DUI shift that Friday night of Feb. 17 to earn some extra overtime.
Fellow Monongalia Co. Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. James Burks also choked up and broke down into tears on the witness stand. Burks lead the pursuit of Green from West Virginia into Pennsylvania, and was right behind Green's truck when the crash happened.
Burks told the jury, "It looked like a bomb went off."
During cross examination, Bongivengo asked Burks if he examined the scene and looked for skid marks or other evidence after the crash.
"No," Burks replied. "I went to the guardrail… I knelt down, and cried."
Throughout most of the day, Green sat calmly beside his lawyer, dressed in a suit and tie. He didn't show emotion while an ex-girlfriend read their text conversation from that night, or while witnesses said they saw Green "slurring" and "acting aggressive" at Bugsy's Tavern, where he spent $109 that night.
The most reaction the jury saw Monday was Green looking down at the table, while Fox played the recording Monongalia Co. Deputy David Wilfong made during the traffic stop on Route 100 that started the chase.
In it, the jury heard Dept. Wilfong yelling for Green to stop as he drove away with Wilfong's arm still inside the vehicle.
Forensic experts from the Pennsylvania State Police told the jury Green's blood alcohol content was measured at .189.
The jury also saw photos of the hit and run collision Green later admitted to causing on Easton Hill after leaving Bugsy's.
Monongalia County's medical examiner, Jeffrey Haught, reopened the evidence bag containing May's uniform on the witness stand. Haught testified to the efforts emergency personnel made to resuscitate May, after he was found alive in the back of his vehicle.
Fox will continue to call witnesses for the Commonwealth Tuesday.