Jakscht's fate once again in jury's hands


by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV


Posted on August 13, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 9:55 AM

PHOENIX -- For the second time, the fate of 49-year-old Valley truck driver Michael Jakscht now rests in the hands of a Maricopa County jury.

Jakscht was the man behind the wheel of a 23,000-pound dump truck in March 2010 when the vehicle failed to stop at a traffic light along the Carefree Highway and slammed into a group of motorcycle riders that had stopped for the light.

Four of the riders were killed in the horrific pileup. Five others were injured, including well-known Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Ernie Lizarraga.

Jakscht was charged with four counts of manslaughter and multiple counts of aggravated assault because prosecutors said he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.

Jakscht defense lawyers had argued vigorously that their client was not impaired and that the crash was a terrible "accident" caused by a mechanical failure in the massive truck.

Jakscht's first trial last year ended with a hung jury deadlock 9 to 3 for acquittal.

The Maricopa County attorney's office decided to retry the case. Closing arguments in round two of the State v. Michael Jakscht were delivered to a new jury today.

And now, once again, Jakscht's fates rest in a jury of his peers.