A Clark County Superior Court jury on Friday found that Brandon Gorham did not intend to try to kill a man when he ran him over with his truck following an argument last September in the Vancouver Heights neighborhood.
Although jurors acquitted Gorham, 32, of attempted first-degree murder, they convicted him of first-degree assault and hit-and-run resulting in injury. They reached their decision after deliberating for about 4½ hours.
Gorham will be sentenced Thursday.
During his trial, the prosecution and defense were at odds over whether Gorham intended to run down then-27-year-old Zachery Lucore with his pickup Sept. 10, 2016, near the corners of Tennessee Lane and North Garrison Road.
Among his injuries, Lucore suffered fractures to his pelvis, face, ribs and spine, a collapsed lung, and abrasions all over his body.
Shortly before the crash, the two men — who were strangers — had been in a verbal altercation outside Gorham’s residence. Lucore had been in the area of Gorham’s house to visit a friend, but she wasn’t home when he arrived.
While arguing, Gorham allegedly told Lucore, “I’m going to run you over with my truck,” and Lucore threatened to cut Gorham, Deputy Prosecutor Aaron Bartlett said. Bartlett argued that an enraged and intoxicated Gorham then chased down and ran over Lucore, after he had walked away.
However, Gorham’s defense attorney, Chris Ramsay, said it was never his client’s intention to run over Lucore.
Gorham testified that he drank an 18-pack of beer that day and was intoxicated well over the legal limit. He wanted to catch up with Lucore after their verbal altercation to beat him up, he said, not to kill him.
There were vehicles parked along the curb blocking his view as he came around the corner on North Garrison Road. By the time he saw Lucore, it was too late, Gorham said.
Witnesses and photos of the crash scene, however, indicate that there was nothing obstructing Gorham’s view, Bartlett argued. Tire marks left on the street from Gorham’s pickup suggest that he accelerated toward Lucore, Bartlett said, rather than applying his brakes.
Ramsay said that jurors should find Gorham guilty of hit-and-run because he left the scene and didn’t report the crash, as well as for his criminal negligence. The jury had the option of convicting him of third-degree assault, rather than first-degree assault.
After the verdict, Ramsay said that he is satisfied Gorham was acquitted of attempted murder and respects the jury’s decision on the assault conviction.
“We will move on from here,” he said.
Bartlett declined to comment.