Man convicted of reckless homicide in deadly DUI crash

Man convicted of reckless homicide in deadly DUI crash
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 10:14 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We have a verdict in the death of Daezon Morgan.

Matthew Starling was found guilty Thursday night of reckless homicide and DUI according to the jury.

Deliberations began Thursday afternoon, and by the end of the night, the jury had made their decision. They found Matthew Starling was drunk at the wheel and killed Daezon Morgan back in 2020, but the original charge of 2nd Degree Manslaughter didn’t stick. Instead, the jury said that Starling was guilty of reckless homicide and DUI.

Back in 2020, Starling was arrested after he crashed into Daezon Morgan and his motorcycle along Richmond Road. Morgan was dead after that crash, which sparked protests that night. Police say that Starling told them he had had several drinks throughout the day leading up to the crash.

Our news partners with the Herald Leader were following the case in the courtroom. They say that the prosecution used video of Starling’s field sobriety test and video from his following hospital visit to back up their charges. They say that his blood alcohol level at the hospital was .078 just hours after the crash happened. And the way Starling responded to the field sobriety test showed that he was intoxicated.

The defense told the juror that Starling was not drunk...that he was just shaken up in the video, and that this was just a very regrettable accident. Ultimately the jury sided with the commonwealth and handed down their verdict.

On Friday morning, Morgan’s mother said that she was hurt and angry by the lesser charges. She said that she was still trying to process the verdict and the recommended sentence of 1 year and 30 days in prison.

“Matthew’s [recommended] sentence is shorter than the amount of time he’s been gone, and that hurts,” said Cheresse Walker.

That sentence is not final. Starling will be back in court for an official sentencing on November 22nd.

Regardless of the sentence Starling receives, Walker hopes no one else will make a decision that can take a life like Morgan’s.

“Just don’t drink and drive,” Walker said. “Call an Uber, call your friends or something. When you put your keys in the ignition, anything can happen. Anything can happen.”