VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A man is now on trial in Lowndes County for the death of a sheriff’s deputy.
Chris Butler was on duty when he was killed in a crash with a semi-truck in 2017.
The driver of that truck, Robbie Register, is now facing a jury on a host of charges.
District Attorney Brad Shealy began presenting his case for the jury on Monday.
The courtroom heard from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic toxicologist, a woman who lived on Cat Creek Road and two sheriff’s deputies as well as a Georgia State Patrol officer who responded to the scene.
One big point of discussion on Monday was if Register was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.
Officers did not arrest Register initially, but toxicology reports did find signs of drug use after the crash.
“I then did confirmation testing and it was determined that it was positive for Benzoylecgonine, which is a metabolite of cocaine," said Amanda Burton, a GBI forensic toxicologist.
Burton testified to also finding traces of THC and THC metabolites in his system as well.
A GSP trooper testified about a conversation he had with Register after the crash. He said that he asked Register if he thought there was anyway the crash could have been avoided.
“He said if he would have just had patience, the wreck would have never happened," said the trooper.
The trooper also said that Register told him that he thought he could beat the officer when pulling out.