Drug expert testifies in Grooms trial; ex-girlfriend on stand Monday

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The trial of Thomas Grooms continued today with more testimony from law enforcement officers and a self-described “party girl” the prosecution says has information on grooms the jury needs to know.

Friday, the jury in the Grooms trial learned more about the man behind the charges.

NC Wildlife Lt. T. Radabaugh, a drug expert, testified he believed grooms was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol because of his performance on multiple field sobriety tests.

“Based on my examinations and everything I’ve seen during my time with Mr. Grooms, I was under the opinion he was under the influence of alcohol and an central nervous system stimulant,” Radabaugh said.

The jury was let go early, and a hearing was held to determine if Grooms’s former girlfriend, Thelma Schumaker, could testify before the jury. Schumaker was not present during the accident, but she said she has seen grooms drive under the influence multiple times.

She also referred to a night that she and Grooms were both intoxicated and driving home to carolina beach down river road. Schumaker recalled asking Grooms to pull over after swerving into the other lane and almost hitting a mailbox.

“When he said to me, ‘I think I drive better with one eye than two,’ and I noticed that we were at a high rate of speed, and I started to have a panic attack, I had to get out of the car. I had to get out of the car,” Schumaker said.

The judge decided Schumaker’s testimony was essential to establish a pattern of behavior by Grooms. Schumaker is expected to take the stand again Monday in front of the jury.

Phone records released today also show grooms was making a call at the time of the accident.

The prosecution says SBI investigators will begin testifying Monday.

Categories: New Hanover

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