A Former Lexington firefighter was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison on assault and driving under the influence charges for crashing into a Euclid Avenue bar and severely injuring a National Guardsman.
Jarad McCargo's attorney Rawl Kazee told Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell he plans to file an appeal. He unsuccessfully sought a retrial.
In September, a jury convicted McCargo, 37, on all counts after deliberating more than three hours. In addition to DUI and assault, he was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident, criminal mischief, two counts of misdemeanor assault, and failure to maintain required insurance.
McCargo had been a probationary firefighter and was fired from the department shortly after the crash.
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The jury heard an audio recording in which McCargo told police that he hit the gas Sept. 19, 2014, rather than the brakes as he put into reverse his wife's Ford Expedition in an attempt to parallel park in front of The Beer Trappe. The vehicle lurched backward, hitting Army National Guard Capt. Noel Espino and causing $26,000 in damage to the bar.
Espino, 44, was severely injured. His left leg was amputated as a result of his injuries. He didn't leave the hospital for 16 weeks.
McCargo sped off after hitting the building, his wife Denise McCargo said.
"It all just happened so fast," she said during her husband's trial.
Denise McCargo said she didn't know what they'd hit, and she kept telling her husband that they had to turn around and see if anyone had been hurt.
"I just said, 'Baby, we've got to go back,'" she said.
Denise McCargo works for the Fayette County sheriff's office in court services. On the night of the crash, she and her husband had been out for their first date night in a long time, she said.
She said she was supposed to be the one driving that night, so she was not drinking.
When the couple got to the Beer Trappe, the only available parking spot was a parallel spot, and she couldn't parallel park, she said. Her husband traded spots with her to park.
After her husband sped off, Denise McCargo tried to make him stop, but he was unresponsive, she testified during the trial.
Finally, Denise McCargo grabbed for the gear shift in an attempt to stop the vehicle, she testified.
When that didn't work, she jumped out of the moving vehicle and ran back to the crash site to see if anyone had been injured, Denise McCargo testified.
Police found Jarad McCargo behind some trash cans on Yellowstone Parkway a little while later.
His blood alcohol level was 0.122, the legal limit is 0.08.
He said he drove away "in just fear, instinct."