The prosecutor agreed Wednesday that former Pittsburgh police officer Adam Lewis had no intent to harm the passenger on his motorcycle in the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 2010.
But the prosecutor, Lisa Carey, said the man intentionally chose to get on his motorcycle after he had been drinking to drive Jessica Lojak home.
"I think he did act in a reckless and grossly negligent manner," Ms. Carey said. "He chose to speed after he ingested alcohol. He knows there's a dangerous curve coming up."
Mr. Lewis, who has since been fired from the police bureau, is charged with homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence for the crash on Mifflin Road about 2:30 a.m.
Ms. Lojak, 28, of Fawn, was killed.
Mr. Lewis testified Tuesday during his nonjury trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that as he was traveling through a curve in the road, he felt Ms. Lojak's weight shift, causing him to lose control of the motorcycle.
It traveled into the oncoming lane of traffic and was struck by an SUV.
Investigators testified that Mr. Lewis took the curve at about 41 mph -- in a 25-mph speed zone -- and that his motorcycle was leaning over too far.
Both sides agreed that Mr. Lewis' blood alcohol level at the time was 0.108 -- above the legal limit of 0.08 in Pennsylvania.
William Difenderfer, who represents Mr. Lewis, said his client had three to five beers earlier in the night, and that none of the friends with whom he had been at Rivertowne Pub & Grille in North Huntingdon thought it was unsafe for him to drive.
Mr. Lewis received a call during the night asking him to meet his fiancee and her friends, who were out for her bachelorette party, asking if he would meet them in the South Side so they could follow him back to his house.
Ms. Lojak, who had previous experience riding on motorcycles, asked if she could ride on the back of Mr. Lewis' with him.
"It goes from probably one of the best nights to a tragedy words can't even describe with the death of Jessica Lojak," Mr. Difenderfer said. "There would be no reason for him to have any intention of riding fast or reckless."
There was testimony at trial that Mr. Lewis safely negotiated a number of raised manhole covers along Carson Street, which was being resurfaced at the time.
"Nowhere in the record is there any sign of intoxication of Mr. Lewis," Mr. Difenderfer said.
But Judge Manning responded that based on Mr. Lewis' blood alcohol level, driving would be illegal whether he was doing it safely or not.
Judge Manning said he would announce the verdict on Tuesday.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.