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Trial Begins for Man Charged with DUI and Child Endangerment

Published On: Sep 19 2012 11:18:08 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

The opening statements and testimony have started for a Palo Cedro man charged with causing a crash in which his two young daughters were seriously injured.

29-year-old Nicolaas Myrtle was arrested in March when he crashed on Gas Point Road in Cottonwood.

Investigators say Myrtle was under the influence of prescription drugs and medical marijuana.

One of his daughters is now paralyzed from the waist down and the other was badly injured in the accident.

The trial started with opening statements Wednesday morning.

Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Toby Powell presented his argument, saying Myrtle violated two contracts; one with the state and one with his daughters. He said as a father, Myrtle is supposed to protect his children and that this accident shows he lost that trust.

Myrtle's attorney, Adam Ryan, argued that the girls had a habit of slipping their seat belts under the arm of their booster seats, rather than leaving them across their chests. He said the crash was a complete accident that has taken a toll on Myrtle.

Amanda Pevehouse, the girls' mom, was the first to testify. She was asked a few questions by Powell and started crying when she was asked about her daughter's injuries.

A few witnesses, who were among the first on the scene, took the stand recalling what they saw that night.

The CHP officer who responded to the scene was asked about the girls' car seats. He said, according to the height and weight requirements, they should not have been in a booster style seat.

Myrtle is charged with DUI resulting in injury and two counts of child endangerment.

The trial will continue through Thursday morning.