Mom gives emotional testimony on search for daughter in debris of deadly crash

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 6:59 PM

FORT WORTH — In court Thursday, the mother of a 24-year-old woman killed in a crash involving alcohol became overcome with grief as she testified about praying over and over for a miracle as she searched through the bloody crash debris.

In her testimony at a Tarrant County juvenile court, Marla Mitchell said when she finally found Brianna's mangled body, she brushed the hair off her face.

Thursday, marked day two of 16-year-old Ethan Couch's trial. Wednesday, the teen admitted he caused the crash that killed four people. Judge Dean Boyd will decide Couch's punishment, which could range from one year of in-patient treatment to a 20-year sentence.

Thursday, prosecutors once again began calling victims' loved ones to the stand to share their loss.

Mitchell said her daughter was her best friend and sole reason for living. The two shared a home. As she testified, she became so distraught she was helped from the witness stand. Many in the crowded courtroom shared her tears. 

Prosecutors will soon call the widow of Brian Jennings, a youth pastor who was among the four run over when he stopped to help Brianna, who had become stranded that night after her tire blew on Burleson-Retta Road.

Couch's pickup plowed into a group of people who gathered around the vehicle in a driveway. Hollie and Shelby Boyles, a 52-year-old mother and 21-year-old daughter, were also killed. Thursday, Mr. Boyles testified about the moment he saw their bodies.

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