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State trooper testifies against Herlin Alvarez
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The man accused of killing a couple when his truck slammed into their motorcycle near Centertown five years ago had his first hearing Tuesday and was bound to the grand jury.For the defendant, Herlin Alvarez, 26, the hearing was superficial since prosecutors had already taken his case before the grand jury, coming away with indictments not only on charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death, but also on the more serious charges of vehicular homicide and criminally negligent homicide.Alvarez is accused of killing Samantha Roach and Lynn Bell, both 42, when his pickup struck them on Nashville Highway near Centertown on Sept. 30, 2008. Alvarez fled the scene and remained at-large until recently when he was nabbed by U.S. Customs officials as he tried to board a plane in Atlanta for his native Guatemala.During Tuesday’s hearing before General Sessions Judge Bill Locke, Highway Patrol Sgt. Billy Prater testified that evidence found at the scene will prove the wreck was Alvarez’s fault.“The truck hit the motorcycle on the wrong side of the road,” Prater testified, noting Alvarez crossed the center line according to the evidence he saw at the scene.Specifically, Prater said that when the vehicles collided, the impact flattened the truck tire, causing it to leave marks on the road. The marks were like a smoking gun to where the crash occurred on the road.However, defense attorney Bud Sharp pointed out it has not been shown what could have caused Alvarez to cross the center line.