Family, friends of MCG researcher accused of vehicular homicide concerned about his defense

By: Domonique Benn
By: Domonique Benn

Three years after a deadly head-on collision, and the man accused hasn't seen his day in court. The waiting game continues.

An MCG researcher accused of causing a deadly head on crash in 2003 is back in jail.

Judge Carlisle Overstreet issued a bench warrant for Dr. Mohammad Behzadian when he failed to show up for a previous court appearance.

And with his trial set to begin today, supporters of Dr. Behzadian say he is being treated unfairly.

Family and friends of MCG researcher Dr. Mohammed Behzadian are concerned about his defense.

"He didn't specifically say anything. I think we both wonder if he's being represented adequately," says Dr. Barry Whitney, who worked with Dr. Behzadian.

Dr. Behzadian was arrested on a bench warrant for not appearing in court.

"His lawyer apparently didn't tell him he was supposed to show up in court at least twice," Dr. Whitney says.

Family and friends were in court Monday, as Dr. Behzadian's trial was one of two on the calendar.

He's accused of killing 18-year-old Lakeside High School senior Brandon Layton on River Watch Parkway back in 2003.

"It was just an unfortunate accident," Dr. Whitney says. "It's a terrible intersection. If you've been there you know it's still a terrible intersection. It's not marked."

He was charged with driving under the influence and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Dr. Behzadian's friends don't think this is the case.

"He should not be charged with DUI," says Dr. Whitney. What should he be charged with? "Whatever you get charged with in an accident," Dr. Whitney says.

But Brandon Layton's mother says Dr. Behzadian must pay the price.

"I made a promise to my son in that hospital that night that momma would not let this man get away with having killed him," Kathy Layton says.

Two families torn apart.

"There's always going to be a hole in my heart forever," says Layton.

"It's destroyed the life of the families. It's destroying the life of his family," says Dr. Whitney.

We spoke with Dr. Behzadian's attorney Mike Garrett.

When asked if he told his client that he had to be in court, he said he was under the impression that he or his client did not have to appear in court on one occasion.

There is no word yet on when the trial will begin.


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