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911 calls, witnesses heard in Ira Beumer murder trial

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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

The high-profile murder trial of Evansville businessman Ira Beumer continued Tuesday. 

The 911 call made by Beumer was played in court. Beumer was noticeably out of breath when he told the dispatcher he had just been robbed and that he had chased the car down and "wrecked them."

The jury heard Beumer in that 911 call tell the dispatcher "I hope they're all dead."

In the recording, Beumer said, 'I stopped a passerby, flagged them down and got in.' Beumer was waiting for emergency personnel up the street at Cynthiana Heights School.

A recorded interview just hours after the accident was also played for the jury.

Beumer told a criminal investigator that five men wearing ski masks attacked him when he approached his door, pistol whipped him and demanded access to the "big safe."

Beumer told the investigator that he did not intentionally ram the suspects' car because he thought his daughter might have been in the vehicle.

A witness who told jurors he was acquaintances with Beumer and had worked for him in the past, told them when they talked about the incident the next day, Beumer told him that he "wished he would have gotten them all."

In front of a packed courtroom, the state also called several expert witnesses to testify about the crash that killed 22-year-old Antuan Jenkins.

Sgt. Andrew Clark with Indiana State Police testified about his work with the crash event data recorders.

The recorders, more commonly known as a black box, were retrieved from Beumer's Dodge Ram and from the suspects' Pontiac.

Looking directly at the jury throughout his questioning, Sgt. Clark explained how data is recorded and retrieved from the black boxes.

Sgt. Clark told jurors that at the time of impact, Beumer's truck was going 69 miles per hour and the suspects' car was traveling 23 miles per hour.

The state police investigator told the jury that Beumer "floored it" two seconds before impact. Data shows that the accelerator was completely pushed to the floor.

Data also showed that the brake was engaged just before the crash, but Sgt. Clark says the speed remained constant. He explained that Beumer was likely driving with both feet and wasn't trying to slow down before the crash.

Sgt. Clark also pulled data from Beumer's truck that indicated the steering wheel was in a neutral position when he crashed into the back of the Pontiac. Clark explained that means the wheel was not turned to the left or the right, which is consistent with crash.

During cross-examination, Sgt. Clark testified that the lack of lighting in the area and the physical impairment of Beumer are both factors that could have caused Beumer's impairment.

Sgt. Clark told the jury trauma or stress may have affected his perception.

Dr. Alan Griggs, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy, was called to testify about the injuries.

Dr. Griggs ruled the cause of death as disruption of the brain through blunt force trauma.

The manner of death, Dr. Griggs says, was accident. Griggs told jurors the victim, Antuan Jenkins, suffered several serious injuries and likely died on impact.

The state called a total of 10 witnesses. The state subpoenaed the other defendants in the case, Dezmont Hogan, Jeton Hall and Nalakeio Bennett. The prosecutor's office tells us the men refused to testify.

Jenkin's father says he wanted the men to testify, but understand that they felt threatened and chose not to.

Officials say there will be penalties for the men who refused to take the stand. The three men are already serving 40 year prison sentences.

In all, the state called 10 witnesses. The defense called four witnesses Tuesday, including Maria Beumer, Ira's wife.

Maria avoided eye contact with her husband throughout her testimony and told the jury about the events that night.

A portion of her 911 call was played in the courtroom and again, the jury heard that Ira "wrecked them."

Several character witnesses testified that Beumer was friendly and helped others. Several people have told the jury that when they needed work, Beumer offered them jobs.

The defense has several more witnesses to call, but the jury could get the case early Wednesday afternoon.

For complete coverage of day one of the trial, click here.

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