Forensic engineer testifies in Sunset Hills mayor trial

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – The mayor of Sunset Hills is expected to take the witness stand Thursday morning in his assault trial. He’s accused of hitting a cyclist with his Mercedes convertible.  Much of Wednesday's testimony involved a forensic engineer hired by the defense to take a close look at the case.

The incident happened back in July 2014 near Old Gravois in Sunset Hills.

The cyclist, Randy Murdick testified on Tuesday Mayor Mark Furrer pulled up to him and began yelling a string of profanities telling him to get off his road.  And, that Mayor Furrer turned his Mercedes convertible into Murdick hitting him and causing him to fall.  Murdick said he suffered injuries and his bike was damaged.

Witnesses also testified that they saw the mayor turning the steering wheel towards the cyclist.

The defense’s expert engineer, Fred Semke, told the court that using the laws of physics the witnesses would have a very difficult time seeing the mayor’s hands on the steering wheel and for only a short amount of time. He said if the mayor turned the wheel only as far as one witness said, the Mercedes tires would have had little reaction.  Plus, the engineer said if the Murdick was hit from the left side his body should have gone right. But Murdick testified he fell back and almost into the mayor’s car.

On cross examination, Semke admitted he did not use exact numbers of the size of all the vehicles or height of the people involved in the incident. He also conducted some of his tests in a parking lot not where the incident actually occurred.

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