Verdict of Davenport Vehicle Homicide Case - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Verdict of Davenport Vehicle Homicide Case

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DAVENPORT, IA -- A Scott County Jury deliberated on whether a man should be held responsible for a pedestrian death. The trial against driver, Dale Varner, happened this week.

In September 2012, Varner who was 45 at the time, hit and killed 23-year-old Martin Eason with his vehicle. Varner was stopped at Telegraph Road and Waverly Road in Davenport, when he saw Eason about 100 feet in front of him.

During the trial, jurors heard a statement from Varner where he told police he revved his engine as a warning. Then, he drove about ten to fifteen feet in front of Eason and accelerated.

Assistant Scott County Attorney, Kim Shepherd says that after driving forward and hitting Eason, Varner reversed his car, dragging Eason several feet.

Eason's mother, Robin Martin, says, "It's been very difficult for us. It's been an emotional roller coaster and it's been a nightmare for us. We heard the details of the accident and it's tormenting us every day to hear what really happened in a sequence of events."

Martin and her family stood outside Scott County Courthouse on Friday as the jury deliberated for nine hours. Martin says, "He is not here now. We're here for him."

The closing arguments on Thursday took over three hours. Attorneys disputed whether Varner acted recklessly or in self-defense.

Latosha Eason, the older sister, says the pain of losing her brother is still overwhelming. "That man chose to use his car as a weapon.  My brother was completely unarmed. He was 15 feet away from him and he decided to rev his engine and run him down."

Varner was facing charges of Homicide By Vehicle and Involuntary Manslaughter. The jury found him guilty only of vehicular homicide.

After the verdict, Eason's family says they are not done with this fight. Eason's mother says, "As his mother, I'll go to my grave fighting this. My son's life was worth more than ten years. It was priceless."

We tried talking to Defense Attorney, Dave Morrison, but he chose not to comment. We also tried to follow up with the defense after the verdict was read, but they walked away.

Varner faces up to ten years in prison and will be sentenced in late-May 2014.

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