Jury Selection Begins In Oklahoma City Doctor’s Murder Trial
A jury trial is underway in Oklahoma County for a doctor accused of killing Nicholas Rappa, 31, on Interstate 35 in October 2018 while driving drunk. Doctor Bryan Perry, 49, is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and obstructing an officer. The court started jury selection on Monday.
In a pre-trial conference with the judge, prosecutors said Perry was driving 100 mph on the interstate at the time he hit Rappa's motorcycle and was seen on camera ordering 13 drinks at a bar before the crash. The judge also allowed prosecutors to include Perry’s driving speed on the Kilpatrick Turnpike the morning of the crash as evidence during trial. However, the judge will not allow Perry’s previous criminal history to be allowed.
Perry has been out of jail on a conditional bond. He was on house arrest and GPS monitoring. Perry was also not allowed to drink alcohol. A judge allowed the doctor to get treatment after he was caught drinking only months after the deadly crash. Perry’s attorney said his client successfully completed the treatment program.
The victim's family and supporters have been preparing for the start of the trial. Rita Talbott is a fellow biker and drove from Tulsa for the trial.
“Even though we didn’t know him,’ said Rita Talbott, supporter. “It’s not easy for us either way any time one of us has gone down, it’s not easy.”
Rappa was on his motorcycle on I-35.
The investigation revealed Perry was intoxicated and allegedly kept driving after he hit Rappa until he crashed into a light pole.
“When our brothers and sisters are murdered and that’s the only word for it,” said Talbott. “And then they leave the scene of the accident, they don’t even have the care enough to stay there for them. This isn’t the first trial we’ve been to, no that isn’t going to continue happening.”
The victim's family has told News 9 they want Perry to face the full consequences of his alleged actions.
“There are those of us that care that justice is served,” said Talbott. “And that things are done right in this state.”
News 9 also learned the victim was drinking before the crash. However, the judge will not allow the defense to say he was intoxicated, only that he was impaired.
Jury selection will continue on Tuesday.