HOUSTON, Texas — A Cypress family has a little bit of closure after a multi-million dollar settlement after a 65-year-old man was run over and killed by a garbage truck in 2020.
But as the civil lawsuits come to an end, a murder trial is set to begin.
Three different videos give three different perspectives painting the picture of how 65-year-old Joe Wade Warren died.
“That shows us exactly what happened, exactly who did it," Brant Stogner, a partner with Abraham Watkins Law Firm said.
It was April 4, 2020. Warren was outside his home, trying to toss some sort of branch into the back of this passing Texas Pride Disposal garbage truck. He misses, and they keep going.
In the video, Warren is heard yelling profanities at the truck. A few seconds later, the driver starts backing up. Warren walks towards them, but the truck never stops, eventually running him over.
“There’s a brief moment in time where they sit there, and then you see the garbage truck drive right off," Stogner said.
Stogner is representing Warren’s wife and son in their civil lawsuits against both Texas Pride Disposal and a secondary contractor.
“And took every penny of insurance money they had," Stogner said.
Stogner says the family’s settlement totaled $10.3 million.
“But I can assure you, they would much rather have Joe Wade Warren back than any of the money we got them," Stogner said.
But while the civil lawsuits are now over, the criminal trial is about to begin.
“I think they’re going to have a very difficult time proving intent," criminal defense attorney Tucker Graves said.
Court records show deputies inspected the garbage truck in their investigation and confirmed the backup camera inside was working.
“My understanding is the backup cameras don’t show everything. They don’t show it all," Graves said.
The driver, Jesse James Clay, is charged with murder.
“He doesn’t know what happened. He doesn’t remember anything. He remembers the individual was yelling and screaming and approaching the vehicle. He put the vehicle in reverse to stop and see what the guy wanted. Doesn’t remember hitting anything," Graves said.
Graves says his client had no idea anything had even happened.
“He didn’t know the guy. Why would he intentionally run over somebody? It doesn’t make any sense. This is really an accident. That’s all it is, an accident. And now we’re prosecuting accidents?” Graves said.
Clay’s murder trial is set to begin on October 24, 2022.
Texas Pride Disposal has issued the following statement:
"Texas Pride Disposal has settled all claims brought against us in this matter. We have no further comment."