LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2006 -- A Los Angeles jury is scheduled to hear part one of opening statements in the case of the Swedish businessman Bo Stefan Eriksson, who now charged with embezzlement, grand theft, DUI and gun possession charges. Eriksson is best known as the many who allegedly drove a third vehicle, a red Ferrari Enzo into a utility pole while traveling 160-200mph and driving under the influence. The theft and embezzlement charges related to the red Ferrari are no longer on the table after the bank which owned the vehicle decided not to make a trip to Los Angeles for the prosecution.
The trial has been an on and off again proceeding, with the latest twist coming Wednesday when attorneys for both sides adjourned from the courtroom for about one hour. When the judge brought the trial back on the record and seated the jury she informed them that one of the scheduled witness was "in a horrible accident and unable to travel right now. The people did not get word until 7 a.m. this morning so they are going to determine if they can get another witness."
Judge Schnegg told the jury the witness that was supposed to testify suffered "head injuries" but "we don't know to what extent." Another witness is scheduled to fly in next week.
The judge then informed the jury the trial would proceed a little out of order. There are scheduled to be opening statements in two parts, one concerning the DUI charges and the other concerning the theft and embezzlement charges.
One has to say scheduled because with this on again off again process and the back and forth behind the scenes one never knows when anything will happen.
Eriksson gave up a chance for a plea deal that would have seen him only face a little more than two years in prison. Now, if convicted on all counts, he could face more than 11 years.