The man accused of driving into a Massachusetts pizza shop, killing two people and injuring others, took the stand in his defense on Tuesday after prosecutors rested their case.
Brad Casler is charged with motor vehicle homicide in the March 2016 crash at Sweet Tomatoes in Newton that left 57-year-old Eleanor Miele of Watertown and 32-year-old Gregory Morin of Newton dead. Seven others were injured in the crash.
Casler, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, testified at length Tuesday about how it regularly affects him with "brain fog," dizziness, tingling, numbness, cognitive issues and more. "It's unpredictable," he said.
His attorney has claimed his client's multiple sclerosis caused him to lose control of the vehicle.
On the day of the crash, Casler said he was working at his job as a real estate broker, looking at a property for a client in the Newton Upper Falls area, which required him to drive.
He said he was headed to Trader Joe's in Newton to buy meatballs for his mother so he could make spaghetti and meatballs for her that night. He said he was talking to a friend on his cellphone using the hands-free Bluetooth feature when he suddenly felt strange and told his friend he had to hang up.
"I felt weird, my body felt strange to me, which had not happened before. I didn't know what was going on, and I said to him, 'I have to get off the phone.' The car was speeding up, and I just didn't know what was happening. I just couldn't control it at the time."
Casler said he doesn't remember the accident at all, only waking up later at the hospital.
"It haunts me every day," he said. "I don't know what happened. I just don't remember. I think about it all day long. I think about it at night. I wake up and shake at night. I don't know what happened."
"I'd like to remember," Casler added. "I'd like to know so that I can understand what's happening to me or what happened. I struggle with it all the time because it's just a blank."
Casler said he had his driver's license revoked after the accident, and no longer drives or wants to drive.
"I know that I'll never drive again, and I wholeheartedly accept that," he said.
Earlier in the trial, Meriam Saim, an EMT who treated Casler, testified that he told her that he didn't believe that his multiple sclerosis played a role in the crash, a claim his attorney has made in court.
"I asked if he thought that the multiple sclerosis may have played a role in the accident, if he believed that he had a flare of sorts," said Saim. "He said, 'No.'"
Saim also said that Casler told her that he tried to stop, but couldn't.
An accident reconstruction expert who examined Casler's vehicle also testified, saying he didn't find any issues with the SUV.
The jury also got a look at photos showing Casler's damaged vehicle and pizza ovens that were crushed in the crash.
A multiple sclerosis expert wrapped up the day on the stand for the defense.
She will continue testifying when court resumes Wednesday.
The jury is expected to get the case next week.