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Friend of victim in Janklow crash cries on witness stand
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Evidence photographs introduced Tuesday show the damage to the motorcycle of Randy Scott of Hardwick, Minn. Scott was killed in the crash. (MPR Photo/Cara Hetland)
Prosecutors in South Dakota Congressman Bill Janklow's trial put nine witnesses on the stand Tuesday. They intended to show Janklow was not confused after an accident that killed Randy Scott of Hardwick, Minn. Janklow is charged with second degree manslaughter, reckless driving, speeding and running a stop sign. Jurors saw an hour-long videotape from a highway patrol troopers car where Janklow can be heard talking about the accident.

Flandreau, S.D. — A man wept on the witness stand as he looked at a gruesome photo of his friend who was killed when Rep. Bill Janklow's car crashed into his motorcycle.

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Image Rep. Janklow's car

Terry Johnson described seeing Randy Scott's mangled body lying in a soybean field Tuesday as prosecutor Bill Ellingson showed him the photo.

"I kneeled down to see if he had a pulse and he didn't," Johnson said.

Janklow frowned, took notes and looked forward as Johnson recounted the afternoon of the crash, telling jurors how he glanced back and noticed that Scott's "headlight wasn't there."

The emotional testimony came on a day in which the prosecution used its witnesses to lay out the facts of their case against Janklow -- the time of the accident, the place of impact and where the vehicles involved came to rest. All witnesses described seeing a cloud of dust and flying debris.

The coroner who responded to the accident testified Randy Scott died of extensive injuries to the torso and abdomen. Jurors saw graphic photographs of the body.

Tad Jacobs says he also examined Janklow. Jacobs says the congressman appeared remorseful and shaken which he says were appropriate reaction to what just happened. Janklow's lawyer says his client suffered a diabetic reaction about the time of the accident. He asked Jacobs if Janklow's behavior was similar to how a person acts when they have low blood sugar. Jacobs said it could but he watched the congressman and talked to him several times and didn't notice that kind of behavior.

Prosecutors played an hour-long video tape from a highway patrol trooper's car. Janklow road with the trooper the 10 miles into Flandreau for a blood alcohol test. That's considered standard in accidents where a death occurred.

Trooper Jeff Lanning says Janklow gave him driving directions to the hospital in the congressman's home town. The taped conversation included personal small talk about the trooper and it was also the first time Janklow learned the victim's name. Janklow responded by asking Randy Scott's age and if he had family and how to contact them.

Driving back to the accident scene, Trooper Lanning took the same county highway Janklow traveled. Janklow said he wasn't speeding. He said he was slowing up for the stop sign and saw a white car coming toward him.

"We were coming up to this stop sign and it came right from over here on this side," Janklow said. "He was either stopped or he just started up and he was coming right across this way at me and I can't remember; I remember gunning it. I honestly thought he was the one that hit me. After I got hit and was in the ditch, I thought he was the guy that hit me."

Janklow's lawyer tried to establish that the congressman was confused and referred to a few comments on the tape where Janklow couldn't remember where he was the night before.

Attorney Ed Evans also tried to establish that the white car Janklow saw could have been that of a witness and that he saw it when the cadillac was spinning after impact.

Prosecutors continue calling witnesses. Another accident reconstructionist, Janklow's aid, the victim's mother and a woman who says she was almost hit at the same intersection by Janklow last year are next to testify.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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