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Trial begins in involuntary manslaughter case for former West Brunswick student

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

An involuntary manslaughter trial has begun for a teen accused to killing two friends in a fatal car wreck in 2009.

The trial of Joseph Moreno, 20, began Monday, July 23.

Assistant District Attorney Gina Essey is prosecuting the case, while Mike Ramos is representing Moreno.

On Tuesday, district attorney Jon David said testimony was under way, and he expected the state to rest Wednesday.

Then 17 years old, Moreno was indicted in December 2009 on two counts of felony involuntary manslaughter. Moreno was initially charged in June 2009 after being served with a warrant, which was taken out by North Carolina Highway Patrol.

The fatal wreck occurred around 11:30 p.m. May 7, 2009, on Royal Oak Road near Shallotte.

According to Sgt. T.T. Daniels of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Moreno was driving east when he crossed the centerline, overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle then hit a ditch and overturned several times.

Daniels said Moreno and front-seat passenger Dylan Bernier were both wearing seat belts. Jacob Moseley, Caleb (Diaz) Hawkins and Jessica Solomon were not wearing seat belts and were all ejected.

Moseley, 18, was killed at the scene, and Hawkins, 17, died the following week.