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Witness changes testimony, father convicted in son’s death

EBENSBURG, Pa. -- A week-long Cambria County trial ended with a surprise as a key witness recanted his original testimony.

It took the jury less than an hour to convict Brian Roles Sr. of crashing his pickup and causing the death of his 16-year-old son.

Investigators said all along Roles was drunk and under the influence of drugs when he flipped his truck last April.   Roles son, Brian Roles Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roles Sr.s teenage nephew, who was riding in the back seat and received minor injuries, testified for his uncle's defense this week.  He said it was his cousin, the younger Roles, who was actually driving when the vehicle crashed.

The surprise turn of events happened Friday morning when that nephew changed his testimony and said Roles Sr. was behind the wheel.

The nephew told the courtroom, through tears, that he couldn't eat and he couldnt sleep Thursday night because he said he lied.

He said he came forward to the district attorney's office Friday morning because he said his cousin Brian Jr. wasn't getting the justice he deserved.

There were gasps and tears from his family members as the nephew told the judge he was pressured by his entire family, especially his uncle Roles Sr. himself.   He said Roles would make him practice his testimony and response.  

The nephew said he was afraid he would get in trouble if he didnt support his uncle.

The nephews testimony was so shocking and unexpected that Roles defense team had no cross examination and in fact they had nothing to say during closing arguments.

Roles was found guilty of vehicular homicide by DUI as well as nine other charges.  He's headed back to prison until his sentencing tentatively set for September 25.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times