[Jan 2016: case finally resolved, defendant/driver convicted and sentenced, see below.] Woman walking on the sidewalk in broad daylight killed by a hit-and-runner, Sunday March 3, 2013. I say ‘another’ because it was only about a week ago another unforunate soul was hit just standin-on-the-corner; fortunately she wasn’t killed. Seriously, how often does this happen?
The suspect vehicle, 1984 Red Alfa Romeo convertible, is highly unusual. According to the 12 News (video) report, the owner turned himself in the following day, says he didn’t do it, and the vehicle was in his garage after the incident (and apparently he has no idea who the driver might have been?)
The news report, or police, or both have not identified the owner.
Mon Mar 4, 2013 8:58 PM
Authorities identified the woman who died after a hit-and-run collision Sunday as Anna Blaze. The 41-year-old died Monday morning…. Around 5 p.m., Blaze and her friend were walking on the sidewalk near the intersection of 11th Street and Northern Avenue. A red, late 1970s model Fiat convertible came up on the sidewalk and struck her, said Sgt. Trent Crump. The car continued to drive east toward 12th Street without stopping, he said… The owner of the Fiat came forward Monday, and detectives were examining the vehicle
The Criminal Case and Trial
The fresh case against Christopher Wakefield Chevalier, after a grand jury indictment is CR2013-002591. Charges are manslaughter plus hit-and-run w/death. Case minute entries. Trial is set initially set for late Nov 2013, and as of fall 2015 hasn’t happened.
The last batch of minutes from late Sept 2015 has some interesting stuff about defense expert witness Chester Flaxmeyer. He has appeared twice in the azbikelaw.org files — once in offering a “diabetes defense” of Patrick Nissley (found guilty of manslaughter) after a headon he was involved in resulted in the death of a pedestrian on the sidewalk and another in the case of Gary Foshee, a driver with a previous dui who killed a bicyclist head-on and was also convicted. See AACJ who runs an annual seminar on Aggressive Defense of the Accused Impaired Driver, Mr. Flaxmeyer is a routine speaker. There were also defense motions that were denied, to have the prosecutor removed for prosecutorial misconduct. And defense motions to allow/see the deceased’s autopsy/tox results — so far denied.
The incident occurred in March of 2013, when will it get to trial?? Two and a half years, and counting.
Trial finally happened and a 12 day (!) trial concluded 10/19/2015 with a guilty of negligent homicide*; and guilty of leaving the scene of a fatality that he caused. In the aggravation phase of deliberations, 10/21/2015 the jury found aggravating circumstances (that the negligent homicide was a “dangerous” offence).
Motion(s) for a new trial were denied. Sentencing is set for 1/8/2016.
* Negligent homicide is always a “lesser included charge” under manslaughter, or 2nd Degree murder, for that matter. See here for the various forms of homicide.
Sentencing minute. 5 years incarceration (less 85 days credit for time served) plus 5 years of probation.
As usual the hit-and-run charge, a serious (class 2! two steps more serious than the negligent homicide) felony, results in no incarceration.
The hit-and-run conviction is supposed to result in an automatic 5 to 10 year license revocation that must begin after any incarceration “Joey’s Law” (I always wonder if they actually carry that out?) so his license will be revoked during the probation period, and for as much as 5 years beyond that
Moved the reverse chronological “updates” here, so many they were getting unwieldy:
[UPDATE… inching toward trial, 04/22/2015 minute notes “IT IS ORDERED setting this matter for firm trial on 8/10/2015”]
[UPDATE mid-March (2014) “IT IS ORDERED setting this matter for firm trial on 7/16/2014”. Oh, a FIRM trial date! At some point it slipped again; as of this writing, 10/31/2014 is set for an evidentiary hearing ]
[UPDATE early-Feb ’14: obviously more delays… now shows dates out to March 2014, and now not showing any trial dates. A case minute popped up 2/6 a Complex Case Mgmt Conf]. Also a mention of the Chevalier case in news story Bar receipts are used to indict suspect in fatal 2013 hit-and-run “Chevalier was accused of the same charges, plus tampering with evidence, in the March 5 (2013) death of Anna Blaze, who was struck by an Alfa Romeo while she walked on a sidewalk with a friend at Northern Avenue and 11th Street.”. That story was regarding defendant McIvor who was eventually convicted in this mesa fatal-hit-and-run.
[The defendant got and plead resp for a windshield violation(?weird. 28-957.01 Windshield Required. One wonders if this was a pretextual stop?) 7/30/2013 in Scottsdale muni TR-2013019785. Not a moving violation]
[UPDATE late Nov; trial scheduled to begin 11/26. Interestingly/oddly there are very few case minutes… i wonder what that means? There continues to be no case activity, no minutes, no nothing, posted as of 12/5]
[UPDATE June 25 — the suspect has been re-arrested azcentral.com. The fresh case number is CR2013-002591. Charges seem to be manslaughter plus hit-and-run w/death. Case minute entries. Trial is set for late Nov 2013. Attorneys are listed as State Of Arizona – Edward Paine; and defense is Jocquese Blackwell ]
[ UPDATE in a 5/23/2013 azcentral.com story, charges were dropped at request of prosecutors pending further evidence collection. The owner of the vehicle isn’t cooperating with police. ]
[ UPDATE March 21, 2013: the owner of the 1984 bright red Alfa Romeo was subsequently arrested;
Arrest made in fatal hit-run; woman was struck while walking on sidewalk: “Phoenix police said Thursday that they arrested Christopher Wakefield Chevalier in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash earlier this month. Chevalier, 45, is facing charges of manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence and leaving the scene of a fatal collision…” “Witnesses told authorities that they saw the vehicle drive up on the sidewalk multiple times around the area where Anna Blaze was struck” ]
[ Updates 3/22/2013 the AP is reporting the car “was cleaned and had its broken windshield removed before police impounded it. Court records released Friday show that the windshield to the red 1984 Alfa Romeo two-door convertible was later found in the garbage at the Phoenix home of 46-year-old Christopher Wakefield Chevalier” ]