Trial date set for former UK student accused of killing boy in crash


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A trial date has been set for a University of Kentucky student accused of killing a 4-year-old boy in 2018 while under the influence.

Jacob Heil appeared in court Friday for a status hearing with his lawyer Christopher Spedding.

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Fayette County Circuit Judge Lucy VanMeter set Heil’s jury trial date for April 6-9, 2020.

Police accuse Heil of driving under the influence when he hit 4-year-old Marco Lee Shemwell near Kroger Field on the day of a Kentucky football game. Shemwell later died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Heil was a freshman at UK at the time of the crash.

Police say Heil admitted to officers he drank two beers a couple of hours before the crash. His blood-alcohol content was .05, which is below the legal limit for people above 21 but above the legal limit for an 18-year-old. His arrest citation said the UK freshman had “a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red bloodshot watery eyes and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests.”

Heil is no longer enrolled at UK. He was a pledge at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The fraternity closed its UK chapter following the deadly crash.