Hit and runs are always awful. This one from Tucson May 20, 2011 seems especially so. Police arrested a young woman four days after the crash, Abigail A. Allin, 21. There is a lot more info supplied by Sam Abate’s father over on tucsonvelo.com.
Hit and run can sometimes be hard to prove, but fortuitously a driver matching the description triggered a red light camera nearby before striking Abate: “The woman driving, talking on her cell phone, weaving in and out of traffic, and caught moments earlier by the red-light camera“. I am a big fan of photo-red enforcement. (see this murder case that was solved in part with photo-red evidence. Photo evidence was also instrumental in arresting a suspect in this cyclist hit-and-run killing)
One hopes the prosecutor will be seeking the bad driving involved — and not just the hit-and-run. The hit and run came after the collision; the bad driving before certainly seems like reckless driving, or some sort of assault.
Abigail Allins has a traffic case TR-10037413 from April 2010 for running a red light and no insurance for which she did not appear — which is probably where the “driving on a suspended license” is coming from.
Plea Deal Pulled
fox11az.com reported on July 27th that the prosecutor has withdrawn an unspecified plea deal for unspecified reasons. The defendant is scheduled to enter a plea on July 29th — I’m not sure exactly what charges have been filed because it’s not up on caselookup and strangely I don’t see anything at Pima County Superior Court (or its search page). It was reported earlier charges would be felony hit/run, endangerment, and tampering with evidence.
No news as of Aug 3 (2011)…
Inmate lookup results:
NAME: ALLIN, ABIGAIL ALETA DOB: 10/24/1989 AGENCY HOLDS: NO LOCATION: JAIL-EAST-1Q BOOKING#: 110525005 CHARGES: 3 COURT: JUSTICE COURT #1 CASE#: CR11107610A <--- 1 BOND AMT: $ 75000.00 TYPE: Secured
Plea deal wrangling over 1 year later
The suspect is still in jail (can’t make bond?) over 1 year later. In late june 2012 there was a story on tucsonvelo.com outlining what’s been going on. This is really weird. On happier note, the victim is “doing better” and plays music and attends some UA classes.
Still Going, as of November 2012…
Status conference scheduled for Dec 3, 2012.
Plea deal wrangling absolutely settled Jan 2013
Details in the comment below.Quick summary — the defendant won the point in Superior Court; who ordered the prosecutor to reinstate the plea deal. The prosecution won a reversal at the Court of Appeals. The defense took it to the Arizona Supreme Court, which denied review — so the Court of Appeals ruling stands.
The CoA2 case is a “Memorandum Decision / Not for Publication”, 2 CA-SA 2012-0034. Apparently only recent decisions are on the court’s website. Available on justia.com. “A defendant has no right to a plea agreement… and the decision whether to offer a plea is solely within the prosecutor’s discretion” and that the prosecutor’s decision to withdraw the plea based on media attention, whether or not instigated by the victim’s family, was not a due-process violation.
There’s a reference to a law I had never heard of, ARS 13-4419(C), which involves victim’s rights including the right to confer with prosecution but makes clear the victims cannot “direct” the case.
Inching towards a legal conclusion?
News item Driver admits hitting bicyclist, tampering
February 07, 2013 12:00 am • Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star
Sentencing. Finally, April 2013
Nearly two years since the incident occurred Allin has finally been sentenced. In February, she plead to tampering and hit and run; she will receive no more jail time (limited to time already served awaiting trial), going forward she gets 5 years probation plus some community service and something about $5,520 for medical bills (which certainly ran into the hundreds of thousands. I also wonder where that oddly precise-sounding amount came from?). No mention of impairment, though her lawyer proudly states she has completed not one but “two substance-abuse programs”; or any other explanation as to why she was driving so erratically. Also no mention of any license revocation or suspension, so I suppose her driving privilege is intact.
KVOA had the most detailed news story. By way of explaining what I would consider a light sentence (this is a class 2 felony for cryin’ out loud) “The judge said since this is her first criminal charge and first felonies, he sentenced her to five years probation.”
Here is the court’s sentencing minute; obtained via a public records request; there is always curious math in these documents, and the whole thing is cloaked in obfuscation — for example she was sentenced to 365 days in jail for each of three charges; yet somehow her 463 days incarcerated pre-trial gets to be used to cover all three; viola, no more jail time.
- §28-661A1 Leaving the scene with serious injury / non-repetitive, non-dangerous class 2 felony
- §13-2809A1 Tampering with physical evidence / non-repetitive, non-dangerous class 6 felony
- §13-1602A1 Criminal damage / non-repetitive, non-dangerous class 6 felony
Prosecutors often throw in an endangerment charge on these sorts of cases, but that’s yet another class 6 felony and as such doesn’t amount to anything. §13-1602A1 … A person commits endangerment by recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
What about driver’s license revocation?
At guilty on 661 w/serious injury should result in an automatic (“The department shall revoke the license…”) 5 year license revocation. A copy of Allin’s MVD court abstract form was obtained from Pima County Superior Court. It lists the 28-661, but has left the “other” field of the form blank — this action by the court has the effect of preventing the license revocation. (Actually, documentation for MVD court abstract submittals, since at least 2009 says that “Courts must now supply the appropriate sentencing authority [in the “pursuant to” box] on an MVD court abstract, to avoid reject errors or returned documents” so I’m not exactly sure where that leaves it).