Testimony began Monday in Hancock County Circuit Court in the trial of Eugene Butler, Jr., who is charged with manslaughter in the June 25, 2016 death of 19-year-old Vanessa Destiny Mauffray.

Vanessa and her boyfriend, Ryan Necaise -- now 28 -- were in a small boat setting crab traps on Bayou Caddy when Butler allegedly broadsided their skiff with his 20-foot fishing boat. Vanessa died from her injuries hours later at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport.

Butler was initially charged with boating under the influence when the incident occurred and was indicted for manslaughter in her death in 2017.

The prosecution began its case on Monday, hearing testimony from Necaise, who said Butler was not paying attention and his boat was moving too fast for he and Vanessa to take evasive action; and officers of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

The trial is scheduled to continue today at the Hancock County Courthouse, with Circuit Judge Lawrence Bourgeois presiding.

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