Tag Archives: circumstantial evidence

Owner of Red Alfa found guilty of killing ped on sidewalk

TalfaRomeoHitAndRunPhoenixhe owner of the red Alfa Romeo convertible involved in the killing of a pedestrian on a Phoenix sidewalk in 2013 was found guilty of negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a fatality caused by the defendant. I have no idea what the defense was; but at the conclusion of the twelve-day trial, the jury also found an aggravating factor of dangerousness. Details at another-ped-gets-whacked-on-phoenix-sidewalk
Continue reading Owner of Red Alfa found guilty of killing ped on sidewalk

Driver charged w/hit-and-run in Chandler ped fatality

photo: MSCO
Hit-and-run suspect Wanda House. photo: MSCO

[UPDATES plea deal January 2017, then imprisoned due to probation violation Sept 2017]

Driver Wanda Snow House has been charged with hit-and-run in connection with the death of a pedestrian. According to police she “was driving in a bicycle lane on Dobson Road near West Canyon Way on Jan. 14 2015 when she hit a pedestrian, identified as Frances Johnston”. Continue reading Driver charged w/hit-and-run in Chandler ped fatality

Driver Convicted: Another ped gets whacked on Phoenix SIDEWALK

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[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? Continue reading Driver Convicted: Another ped gets whacked on Phoenix SIDEWALK

Hit and Run and good-old-fashioned-policework

[Final (?) Update 1/9/2015; defendant pleaded guilty to one count of 28-1201 endangerment, a Class 6 (the most minor) felony. Notably, the charge that was dropped, hit-and-run, is a much more serious class, class 3, and also would have triggered a mandatory 5-year license . The sentence is 3 years probation. One wonders how endangerment can possibly be “non-dangerous” but it’s right there in the deal. Sweet deal for the defendant, though it was a very long and drawn out — the collision he ran from occurred almost a year and a half ago — and presumably very expensive process ] Continue reading Hit and Run and good-old-fashioned-policework

Mesa Police seek driver of white SUV in fatal hit-and-run

[Update: McIver sentenced in August 2014 after pleading guilty last month; short story is 5 years prison for manslaughter plus 4 years probation. All CR2014000974 case minutes (sentencing minute is dated 8/22/2104). Also see Bar Receipts used to Indict… , which is interesting in that the case was proven with circumstantial evidence of drunkeness; though it was obviously not stron enough to seek 2nd degree murder charges, which is routine for drunk drivers who negligently kill someone. Thus the plea deal to manslaughter. Also MCAO issued a press release, sortof unusual.]

[ Update: SUSPECT ARRESTED 8/20/2013 abc15.com “Mesa police Sgt. Tony Landato said 36-year-old Matthew S. McIver is being booked on manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident” ]

azcentral.com updated 8/14/2013 ~ 1PM Mesa police identified the victim of a fatal hit-and-run collision as Richard B. Welck, 68, who was riding a tricycle when he was apparently struck from behind by an SUV on Tuesday night. Welck was riding east in the 8000 block of East Ray Road at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday when he was struck from behind by the SUV, which also was headed east, according to Mesa police. Sgt. Tony Landato, a police spokesman, said evidence at the scene suggests that the SUV is possibly a white 2003-2005 Saturn Vue. Landato said police made an “exhaustive’’ check of the area but were unable to locate the SUV. Police are asking the public for help in identifying the vehicle and the driver. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (480) 644-2211.

The area where Welck was killed by the driver has a particularly wide designated bike lane; this is tagged “drifted”.

myfoxphoenix.com: more info at this news story. The victim was a 68 year old male. He was riding an adult tricycle blue in color. 
IF YOU COME ACROSS THE SUV, call the Mesa Police at (480) 644-2211 or by calling Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS, you can remain anonymous

azcentral.com: Police say a bicyclist in his mid-60s was killed Tuesday night (8/13/2013) in a hit-and-run collision in Mesa. Mesa police Sgt. Tony Landato said police are looking for a white SUV with front-end damage, possibly a Saturn Vue, in connection with the incident near Sossoman and Ray roads…

I’m adding the circumstantial tag, this is a bit of a twist, it’s about how they got him to plead guilty to manslaughter, using video surveillance of bars he had been at, and receipts. rather than direct proof (e.g. field sobriety tests, blood test, etc):

Craig Penrod, a veteran East Valley attorney who represents defendants accused of driving under the influence, said there have been past attempts by police to reconstruct the actions of defendants but he has not heard of police using an estimated blood alcohol content level in the past.

“You would need a lot of details to reconstruct a BAC without any sort of chemical test,’’ Penrod said. “It sounds pretty far-fetched to me.’’

“I have never heard of them putting together a BAC based on circumstantial evidence,’’ he said.

Phoenix police, however, were able to obtain enough evidence to arrest two defendants who also are accused of fleeing the scene after they struck and killed victims. Witnesses, a surveillance video obtained from a liquor store, cell phone records and physical evidence eventually linked Jesus Cabrera Molina to the May 19 death of Officer Daryl Raetz, who was processing a DUI case at 51st and Cambridge avenues when he was run down. Cabrera also was accused of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatality.

Christopher Chevalier was accused of the same charges, plus tampering with evidence, in the March 5 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.

Phoenix police officer dies in fatal hit-and-run

vehicleRaetzHitAndRunFatality[Update: driver sentenced] Although it seems obvious that police work is dangerous because there are bad guys with guns trying to kill them; roughly the same number of  policeman killed in the line of duty die as the result of a traffic collision than by being shot (or stabbed)….

May 19, 2013 ~ 3:30a, Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz was killed while “processing a DUI suspect near 51st and Cambridge avenues when he was struck by a green Ford Expedition, which then fled the scene”. azcentral.com. The story doesn’t give much detail, I would assume from what was presented he was a pedestrian, which is consistent with the picture of the SUV that struck Raetz, which police released later. Continue reading Phoenix police officer dies in fatal hit-and-run

Casa Grande PD nabs hit and run suspect

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[ 11/28/2016 complaint: EXCEED SPEED LIMIT BY 20/45 MPH, plead guilty. see below. Was Wuertz speeding when he hit and nearly killed Brennan and then fled the scene in 2013? Is he still on probation?   ]

[Mar 2014 — plea / plea agreement dated 2/24/2014  The plea stipulates no jail; Wuertz pleas guilty to endangerment, a very low level felony (it even automatically conditionally converts to a misdemeanor). More importantly there is no hit-and-run conviction. That charge, besides being a serious felony, would have resulted in a 5 to 10 year driver license revocation — though the deal does state that “pursuant to 28-3304 the defendant’s license shall be revoked”. Though I’m not sure for how long. Section (A)3 states license must be revoked for commission of any felony w/motor vehicle. I’m not sure when sentencing is but it’s pretty much a done deal] Continue reading Casa Grande PD nabs hit and run suspect