UPDATE | Trial date set for UK student charged in crash outside football game that killed 4-year-old

Jacob Heil, who was a freshman during the fall semester at UK, is accused of being under the influence when his vehicle hit 4-year-old Marco Shemwell near Kroger Field on the day of a football game.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- UPDATE 6/7/19 @ 11:30 a.m.
The former University of Kentucky student who is accused of reckless homicide and DUI following a deadly September crash has a trial date.

WKYT reports Jacob Heil, 18, was in court Friday when his trial date was set for April 6-9, 2020.

Heil, who was a freshman during the fall semester at UK, is accused of being under the influence when his vehicle hit 4-year-old Marco Shemwell near Kroger Field on the day of a football game. Shemwell died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Police say Heil admitted to officers he drank two beers a couple of hours before the crash. His blood-alcohol content was .05, which is below the legal limit for people above 21, but above the legal limit for an 18-year-old. His arrest citation said the UK freshman had "a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red bloodshot watery eyes, and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests."

Heil is no longer enrolled at UK. He was a pledge at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The fraternity closed its UK chapter following the deadly crash.

Heil's attorney spoke after the hearing, saying the defense has other facts in the case that will be presented.

UPDATE 2/6/19 @ 11:01 a.m.
A University of Kentucky student has been indicted for reckless homicide and DUI following a crash that killed a 4-year-old boy.

Jacob Heil, who was 18 at the time, told police he drank two beers hours before driving into a 4-year-old boy on the side of a road near Kroger Field in September, according to a report.

The boy, Marco Lee Shemwell, died two days later at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

On Tuesday, the Fayette County Grand Jury indicted Heil on one count of reckless homicide, a class D felony. He was also indicted on a misdemeanor charge of DUI.

Police say Heil had a blood-alcohol content of .051, which is below the legal limit for adults, but it is above the legal limit of .02 for people under 21. The DUI arrest report says Heil left a tailgating event before the collision on Cooper Drive. Heil's arrest citation said the UK freshman had "a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red blood shot watery eyes and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests."

The University of Kentucky announced Heil was suspended pending the police investigation, and Alpha Tau Omega, the fraternity Heil pledged to, is also suspended on an interim basis.

UPDATE 9/23/18 @ 3:50 p.m.
Saturday’s win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs continued UK’s steamrolling season in the SEC Conference, but was framed with the tragic collision that led to the death of 4-year-old Marco Shemwell one week earlier.

Shemwell died Monday at Kentucky Children's Hospital, two days after being hit by an alleged drunk driver on Cooper Drive near Kroger Field during a UK football game.

In his post-game comments, Coach Mark Stoops closed the interview saying, “I’m glad we played good for Marco and the Shemwell family. We're going to bring this game ball to them tomorrow for Marco and the Shemwell family and I'm so glad that we played well in honor of him and that family.”

Marco Shemwell will be laid to rest at 12 p.m. Monday at Calvary Christian Church in Winchester. Coach Mark Stoops and the UK Football Team will be the honorary pallbearers, along with members of UK Police and UK HealthCare.

UPDATE 9/21/18 @ 1:07 p.m.
University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops and the UK football team will serve as honorary pallbearers at 4-year-old Marco Shemwell's funeral Monday, according to Shemwell's obituary.

The obituary also says that "officers Montoya and Taylor and other members of the UK Police Department, UK Health Care and PICU team and all other first responders who helped in the families’ time of need" will be honorary pallbearers.

Shemwell died Monday at Kentucky Children's Hospital, two days after being hit by an alleged drunk driver on Cooper Drive near Kroger Field during a UK football game.

According to the obituary, Shemwell loved Batman and Kentucky football, and always cheered for the blue team.

Visitation will be from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Calvary Christian Church in Winchester.

The funeral will be held at noon Monday, also at the church.

The full obituary for Marco Shemwell can be viewed at Scobee Funeral Home's website.

UPDATE 9/17/18 @ 9 p.m.
The 4-year-old boy injured after being hit by a car in Lexington Saturday afternoon has died.

A statement from UK Public Relations and Marketing said, "Marco Lee Shemwell, 4, passed away at UK HealthCare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital this afternoon, Sept. 17. The family asks for their privacy at this time."

Police say the incident happened just after 2 p.m. Saturday on Cooper Drive and Scoville Road.

New details from court documents describe a very intoxicated driver, who police say sent the child to the hospital with life-threatening injuries following the game-day crash.

The arrest citation for 18-year-old Jacob Heil says the UK freshman had "a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red blood shot watery eyes and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests."

The victim was standing on the side of the road with his family when police say Heil struck the child with his car while driving east on Cooper.

Heil was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. WKYT is told more charges could be coming.

It's still unclear where the suspect allegedly got his hands on alcohol before the wreck. According to Kentucky law, an adult could face civil or criminal charges for facilitating underage drinking.

Sgt. Stephen Yoder said, "It's a tragedy on both sides. Obviously, in my opinion, more so for the young child that was struck and injured with life-threatening injuries. If you're going to drink and drive there's always that potential you're going to cause mayhem for people not involved in the drinking. It's not worth a little bit of fun, getting in your car and then potentially ruining someone's life."

Heil is due in court on Wednesday, Sept. 19 for an arraignment. Results of a blood test are still pending.

Police are still investigating. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police at (859) 258-3600.



ORIGINAL STORY 9/17/18
A 4-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being hit by a car in Lexington Saturday afternoon. Police say it happened just after 2 p.m. on Cooper Drive and Scoville Road.

New details from court documents describe a very intoxicated driver, who police say sent the child to the hospital with life threatening injuries following the game-day crash.

The arrest citation for 18-year-old Jacob Heil says the UK freshman had "a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red blood shot watery eyes and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests."

The victim was standing on the side of the road with his family when police say Heil struck the child with his car while driving east on Cooper.

Heil was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. WKYT is told more charges could be coming.

It's still unclear where the suspect allegedly got his hands on alcohol before the wreck. According to Kentucky law, an adult could face civil or criminal charges for facilitating underage drinking.

Sgt. Stephen Yoder said, "It's a tragedy on both sides. Obviously, in my opinion, more so for the young child that was struck and injured with life-threatening injuries. If you're going to drink and drive there's always that potential you're going to cause mayhem for people not involved in the drinking. It's not worth a little bit of fun, getting in your car and then potentially ruining someone's life."

Heil is due in court on Wednesday, September 19 for an arraignment. Results of a blood test are still pending.

Police are still investigating. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police at (859) 258-3600.




 
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