Defendant: I wasn’t high in deadly crash

A self-described methamphetamine addict accused of second-degree murder in the death of a female motorcyclist may not have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the fatal crash, his attorneys attempted to prove Thursday.

On the 10th day of jury trial in San Mateo County, attorneys John Halley and Mitri Hanania put a toxicologist on the stand who testified that it is difficult to tell from blood tests exactly when and how much methamphetamine someone has ingested.

Prosecutors allege on Oct. 1, 2005, Mark Henderson was high on the drug when he crossed into the opposing lane of state Route 1 near Tunitas Creek Road south of Half Moon Bay. Henderson’s car struck 19-year-old motorcyclist Rebecca Seibenmorgan head-on. Seibenmorgan, a UC Santa Cruz student, was instantly killed.

Henderson, 49, is facing charges of second-degree murder, willful disregard for human life, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run, possession of drugs and felony drunken driving.

His attorneys say Henderson snorted the methamphetamine after the wreck so that police would not find it.

On Thursday, Deputy District AttorneySean Gallagher said that he didn’t buy the argument.

“This guy, because he was so stoned out of his mind, drove right into the other lane,” Gallagher said.

tbarak@examiner.com

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