On Memorial Day last year, 22-year-old Texas Tech graduate Laura Putnam died after a boating collision knocked her into the water on Lake LBJ. The man accused of driving the boat that caused the accident appeared before a judge for the first time on Friday. Robert Corrigan III is charged with failing to stop and render assistance, which is a felony that carries a prison sentence up to ten years.
At a preliminary hearing at the Llano County Courthouse defense attorney's tried to promote a clean image for the alleged driver of the boat.
"Our client has never been in trouble with the law before. He has a very good record. He's employed in San Antonio. He's a very fine young man, and we simply want to investigate the facts in an open and forthright manner," said Van Hilley, Defense Attorney.
In court, a judge ordered the state to hand over both wrecked boats to the defense. The defense wants to piece together its own account of the hit and run.
"It's frustrating. It's challenging. But that's what we're here for," said Laura's mother, Betty Putnam. "Personally for me I want to know what happened to my daughter and why," said Laura's father, Judd Putnam.
The offending boat was found in a slip at a mansion in Horseshoe Bay. About four months later, authorities arrested Corrigan. They're putting him behind the wheel of the boat which struck Putnam's boat.
"We would like everybody to keep an open mind, until the evidence can be developed in a fair, equal manner. That's what the court process is all about," said Hilley.
"People have to be responsible for what they've done. That's it," said Judd Putnam.
The judge has moved the trial date to June 14th, which is, coincidentally, the anniversary of Laura's funeral.