TODAY

TODAY   |  February 27, 2014

Kerry Kennedy testifies at drugged-driving trial

The human rights activist and author took the stand in her own trial stemming from a reported 2012 auto accident, claiming she has no memory of it and invoking her father, Robert F. Kennedy. A jury could make a decision as early as today. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> closing arguments expected at kerry kennedy 's drugged driving trial. this following a dramatic day as rfk's daughter took to the stand in her own defense. katie, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. inside the packed courtroom, kerry kennedy answered every question she was asked. the key one, did she know she was under the influence of sleep medication when she side swiped a trailer? kerry kennedy left the court arm in arm with her sister and her mother pushed to and from the proceedings in a wheelchair. police say in july 2012 she side swiped a tractor trailer on a highway in westchester county , new york. kerry said that morning she thought she had taken her thyroid medication but she testified i now know thanks to the toks lab thx lab that i must have taken the sleeping medication by mistake. she testified she blacked out before hitting the truck. "i really just don't remember." kennedy 's lawyers argue the thyro thyroid pills were the same size as the generic ambien . kennedy 's lawyer was happy with what she said.

>> i thought she was fabulous. it was perfect.

>> reporter: prosecutors argue that even if she had taken the sleeping medication by mistake, she had taken it in the past and should have gotten off the road once she felt its effects. but kennedy testified if i realized i was impaired, i would have pulled over .

>> she has to have intentionally taken that medication, intentionally driven under the influence of drugs. those are the charges against her. if it was simply a mistake, even a careless mistake, she's not criminally responsible.

>> reporter: on the stand kennedy talked about her organic garden and healthy lifestyle. her lawyer also asked about her kennedy family upbringing. she testified she was raised near washington because daddy was the attorney general. my mother raised us because my father died when i was 8. he was killed when he was running for president. a jury of six men and two women will decide kennedy 's fate.

>> reporter: prosecutors plan to call one more witness, an expert on sleep medication.

>> thank you. proving intent could be tough. i take ambien sometimes and i also take lipitor. they're very close side by side .

>> and they say as soon as she realized she was impaired she should have pulled over . she said essentially that that ambien hit her like a ton of bricks and usually she's in bed when she takes it.

>> it will be interesting to see what the jury decides.