Fatal DUI Crash Victim's Family Travels From New York For Local Murder Trial
Oklahoma County prosecutors wrapped up day three of a metro doctor’s murder trial. On Wednesday they called a number of witnesses to testify about 49-year-old Dr. Bryan Perry’s alleged actions the morning of the fatal 2018 crash. Perry is accused of driving drunk and slamming into the back of 31-year-old Nicholas Rappa’s motorcycle, killing him.
The victim’s family came from New York to attend the trial. They have heard testimony and information about Rappa’s death that they have never heard before.
“My brother passed away in a way that you wouldn’t hope anyone would pass away,” said Joseph Rappa, victim’s brother.
Rappa was on his motorcycle on Interstate 35 when prosecutors said Perry drove his Mercedes into the back of the bike. Prosecutors introduced video evidence of Perry drinking 13 cocktails before getting behind the wheel the morning of the fatal crash.
A truck driver from Kansas testified that he was the only driver on the road besides Rappa and Perry. The truck driver told jurors he could see both of them. However, Perry's defense is that he could not see the victim’s motorcycle due to the rainy weather and a taillight being out.
“They have claimed that his taillight wasn’t working,” said Rappa. “Which all eyewitness accounts are contrary to that.”
The truck driver described the crash aftermath in court. He said there was debris everywhere and he knew Rappa was not alive.
An Edmond police officer who responded to the scene told prosecutors he also knew right away it was a fatal crash.
The details of Rappa's death were hard for his loved ones and friends to hear.
“It’s gut wrenching at times,” said Sarah Bridwell, mother of Rappa’s child. “It’s infuriating at times. It’s brings back a lot of old emotions.”
Bridwell is now raising their 5-year-old daughter alone. She and Rappa's family are expecting justice at the end of the trial.
“I would like to see a guilty verdict on all counts,” said Rappa. “And a fair sentence.”
An Oklahoma Turnpike Authority official also took the stand. He told jurors that Perry drove on the Kilpatrick Turnpike before he exited on I-35. The prosecution’s expert witness testified that Perry drove about six miles in three minutes. Perry’s attorney argued that the doctor would have been driving nearly 200 mph to cover that stretch of the turnpike in three minutes.