Johnston Edward Taylor

Johnston Edward Taylor, 16, of Auburn. 

The case of the 16-year-old driver who, on May 25, crashed into “Voice of the Auburn Tigers” sports radio broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula, killing both, is headed to a Lee County grand jury.

Johnston Edward Taylor, of Auburn, withdrew his request for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, according to court documents obtained Wednesday by the Opelika-Auburn News.

By withdrawing his request for a preliminary hearing, his case will be heard by a grand jury.

Taylor was arrested July 1 and is charged with two counts of manslaughter. He is charged as an adult.

The motion was filed by Taylor’s attorney Tomas Spina and co-counsel Walter Northcutt, the motion says.

Taylor’s preliminary hearing was to be heard July 31, according to court records.

Authorities said they determined from car data and other evidence that Taylor was traveling 89-91 mph at the time of the crash.

The report from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Traffic Homicide Unit also provided information indicating Taylor’s vehicle was not braking before the crash, according to the affidavit.

The posted speed limit for the section of Shug Jordan Parkway where the crash occurred is 55 mph.

A toxicology analysis report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences indicated a blood sample from Taylor contained THC.

THC “is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision on May 25,” the affidavit reads.

Taylor told police he fell asleep while driving and did not remember what happened, according to the traffic crash report.

Rod Bramblett was the well-known "Voice of the Auburn Tigers," having broadcast Auburn athletic events for more than two decades. His wife Paula worked in an IT department at Auburn University.

The Brambletts were remembered in a memorial service May 30 in Auburn Arena.


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