ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Since day one of the Sergio Almanza trial, the defense said they were not there to argue whether or not Sergio Almanza hit and killed Pronoy Bhattacharya outside the River of Lights in 2021. The question is whether Almanza was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

On Tuesday, both sides are still trying to tackle the issue. APD Detective Tavish Barnhill returned to the stand as the defense questioned his testimony from Monday on whether you can determine someone is drunk without the sobriety tests since none were taken at the scene.

Attorney: Is attempting to evade or avoid those checkpoints considered reasonable suspicion for an officer to pull someone over?
Defense: Overruled
Judge: Overruled.
Det. Tavish Barnhill: Yes it is.

That state argued on Tuesday that there are more ways than just sobriety tests to determine if someone is intoxicated, and that it is possible for people who leave the scene of an accident to later be charged with a DWI. The state then brought in Rickey Kitch, an investigator with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.

Kitch told jurors about the difficulties he had in getting certain information from the restaurant that Almanza and his friends went to in the hours before the crash. Kitch said the restaurant owner, Leo Hernandez, shifted from being helpful to difficult, saying that by a third visit to get receipts Hernandez’s demeanor changed.

Attorney: After you voiced that you were going to have to take the cash register, what did he do next?
Kitch: He walked directly to the office area.

Kitch said inside that envelope were receipts from the week of the crash, including the receipts from Almanza’s table. The state rested earlier Tuesday afternoon and so did the defense, calling no witnesses in the case.

Closing statements are expected to take place Wednesday morning, then jurors should begin deliberating after that. The defense also asked the judge for a directed verdict Tuesday on DWI-related charges, but the judge denied that request.