JASPER COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - The man that was accused of causing the crash that killed WTOC’s Don Logana and injured three other people has been found not guilty on all counts
Cleveland Coleman was charged with three counts of felony DUI with great bodily injury and one count of felony DUI with death stemming from the November 2016 accident on Highway 17 just over the Georgia/South Carolina state line.
Part of the State’s burden of proof was to prove that Cleveland Coleman was behind the wheel the night of the deadly crash he’s accused of causing. Wednesday, he took the stand and offered an explanation as to why it wasn’t him behind the wheel that night.
After the State rested their case in the trial of Cleveland Coleman, the court extended Coleman the offer to testify, and he accepted. In his testimony, Coleman told jurors he doesn’t remember anything about the wreck, only waking up in the hospital after the fact.
Before the crash, Coleman said his last memory is being at his mother's house earlier in the night with other family members.
Over the course of the trial, jurors heard testimony that Coleman’s brother let him borrow his pickup truck. Coleman maintained, though, that he wasn’t the one driving when the truck crossed the center line on Highway 17, hitting head-on a passenger car carrying four people, including Logana.
He did say he believed he was in the truck, though.
“There’s times where my brother lent me the truck and I would seek a driver who’s licensed, because I’m afraid to drive personally because of my bad driving history,” Coleman testified.
Coleman admitted to driving on a suspended license in the past, and when asked by the lead prosecutor to explain how many times, Coleman said more than five different occasions. He told jurors he didn’t know who the other person in the truck would’ve been.
Coleman reportedly arrived at the hospital the night of the crash injured and dazed.