'Tragedy on the Hudson' driver Jojo John back in court today

NEW CITY - The driver in the boat crash on the Hudson River that killed two people last year was back in court today.

Jojo John looked dejected as he left Rockland County Court along with members of his family. Inside, his lawyers received updated lab records connected with blood samples taken from him as well as a transcript of radio calls from first responders.

John is facing charges of criminally negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter after allegedly colliding into a barge with his boat while driving drunk last July. The accident killed a Rockland County bride-to-be and her groom's best man. John has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Judge William Kelly has already made some decisions about what evidence will be used, but there's still much to be decided about what will be admissible as the case moves toward trial.

John's lawyers wanted the case thrown out, saying that the barges were not properly lit, but Kelly refused to toss out the indictment.

Kelly ruled that blood and urine samples taken from John the night of the crash will be admissible. However, he is still undecided about whether an incriminating statement John allegedly made and evidence related to beer bottles in the boat will be allowed in court. John allegedly told a responding officer, "It's my fault. I was drinking."

The judge says he will make those decisions before the trial begins.

Both sides will be back in court on May 9 as they try to resolve the evidentiary issues.

There is still no trial date set for this case.


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