Fatal boat crash trial ends after defendant found dead

Authorities say a Florida man on trial for a boat crash that killed two people appears to have killed himself

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Authorities say a Florida man on trial for a boat crash that killed two people appears to have killed himself.

The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that a circuit judge convened court Thursday morning long enough to declare a mistrial in Judsen Cunningham's boating-under-the-influence case and dismiss the jury.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office says deputies responded to Cunningham's home earlier Thursday morning and found him dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Prosecutors had spent two days building a case against Cunningham in the March 2016 crash. Witnesses testified that he had been drinking and operating a boat with 11 other young people on board when it crashed into a jetty in Destin's East Pass, killing Avery Hatchett and Anna Sorokina.

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Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com