VIDEO AND AUDIO: Newly-released evidence used during an Oklahoma man’s murder trial shows how his defense changed over time


MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – KFOR has now obtained some of the key evidence presented during the trial of a man who drove through a team of Moore High School runners, killing three of them, in February of 2020.

“I might have been behind that wheel, but it wasn’t me,” Max Townsend said.

That is a portion of a phone call that Max Townsend made from inside the Cleveland County Detention Center months after he ran over a group of Moore High School runners traveling 77 mph, killing three of them and injuring four others, on February 3rd, 2020.

“I’m going through and finding everything about the devil in the scriptures, about Satan,” Townsend said. “And there’s all kinds of scriptures where he’s influenced people and got in their head and all kinds of stuff. It wasn’t me.”

Prosecutors played these phone calls for the jury during Townsend’s two-week trial back in June, pointing out that in each call, he changed his story.

“I just thought they were jumping out of trees and F****** running out from behind cars and S*** I didn’t know I F****** hit all those people,” Townsend said in another call. “I didn’t know nothing, man, until today because I wasn’t there, in la, la land.”  

While Townsend has said he choked on a Red Bull he was drinking, leaving him unconscious at the time of the crash, prosecutors pointed to alcohol and THC that was in his system.

“I took a drink of that red bull, it went down the wrong, I start coughing and getting F****** red bull everywhere and then I rolled the window down and starting coughing out there and that’s when I went to la la land,” Townsend said in one of the jail calls.

“I mean you weren’t on THC right?” a friend asked Townsend.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

During the trial, prosecutors also played body camera footage from Townsend’s field sobriety test that day.

“Point your toe for me,” Sgt. David Grant told Townsend.

Townsend is seen hobbling, almost falling and visibly getting frustrated.

“It’s alright. Keep going,” Sgt. Grant said.

Townsend is then seen standing in silence, not moving, for a few seconds,

“Alright. they’re going to walk you back to the car you were in for a second,” Sgt. Grant said.

“Nah you said, I mean give me a break,” Townsend is heard saying.

Sgt. Grant then allows him to start again.

Townsend was ultimately sentenced to three life sentences, all to be served consecutively.

He was also sentenced to three counts of leaving the scene of a deadly accident and four counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident. Those will be served concurrently.

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