[ Linsk got pulled over and arrested AGAIN after serving his trivial sentence, 12/17/2014: Driving on suspended license: TR2014159525000, East Mesa Justice Court , a citation for unsafe lane change (presumably the reason he was pulled over) were dismissed. ]
[ yet another update? There are two new post-sentencing court minutes, The first dated 9/12 refers to the “Defendant’s custody status and medical issues”. The second, dated 9/13 CUTS THE JAIL SENTENCE IN HALF from 90 to 45 days, but also now “shall not participate in work release or work furlough”. The Defendant’s original sentence had him eligible for work release. Laurie Roberts of the Az Republic did a column specifically about Linsk and on the light sentencing of hit and run drivers in general a couple of days ago. Roberts notes “Linsk was never charged in Maalouf’s death. Though he was speeding (59 to 62 mph in a 50 mph zone) and drifted into the bike lane, that apparently is not reckless enough to warrant a manslaughter charge”. This is the first I’ve heard this; reporting news is largely defunct ]
[ Update 9/6/2013: The driver was sentenced to 90 days in county (eligible for work release), and 5 years of supervised probation, as well as some community service. kpho.com. As is typical, the news is mum on anything to do with the mandatory 5 to 10 year license revocation for those convicted of this crime — though according to a first-hand account from the hearing, the driver will have a 10 year license suspension (i pasted that account, below, in a comment). If 90 days sounds light, it’s actually pretty heavy in terms of what other hit-and-runners get… though it is certainly light in view of the fact it is a very serious crime (Felony, class 2) carrying a presumptive prison sentence of 5 years. The actual sentencing court minute is not yet available; sometimes there are “tricks” in them — for example Lila Swanson was sentenced to 6 months incarceration for a fatal hit-run that was delayed, deferred, and ultimately “deleted” (never served). The sentencing minute became available on Wednesday m5939382. I was glad to see it explicitly state that “IT IS ORDERED revoking the defendant’s drivers license as required by Arizona law”; I have never seen this in any other sentencing document ]
[ Update 7/12/2013 Criminal case against Nicholas Linsk is CR2012-153890; charged with 28-661 Hit and Run w/Death, a Felony 2. State’s attorney is Karen Komrada; and defendant’s is Clark Derrick. New media is reporting he has pleaded guilty ]
Bicyclist Marwan Maalouf was killed when he was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup truck westbound on Shea Blvd (it was about 1/4 mile east of Palisades Blvd) in Fountain Hills around noon on Sunday Oct 14, 2012. According to witnesses, the driver stopped and then drove off. Police arrested Nicholas Linsk. Linsk initially told investigators his pickup was damaged in a Target parking lot, he later changed his story to say he struck what he believed to be a traffic barricade.
Police (MSCO) said there were “bicycle tire marks inside the bicycle lane that showed there had been an impact with the truck”; if that is the case, and the driver was straddling the lane (partially in the right lane, partially in the bike lane) he should additionally be charged with 28-672 (causing death with moving violation) because that would mean he was in violation of 28-729 (not driving within one lane). [that charging was done successfully in the Lito Silla, Scott Drozdz and Brent Holderman triple-serious injury case — though that was not a hit and run, and was handled in justice court; though the investigating agency was was MSCO]
The Criminal Case
Nicholas Linsk plead guilty 7/17/2013 to Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Injury Accident, a felony, class 2 (this indicates Linsk casued the collision). This is criminal case number CR2012-153890 (or, direct link to list of case minutes). In the case minute for the plea, the following list of statutes is associated with Count 1 (the only count)… I’m GUESSING these are the boilerplate list.
- A.R.S. § 28-661: the Leaving the Scene itself (sometimes in other cases, 663 is also included)
- 28-3001: Chapter 8 (Drivers Licenses) Definitions
- 28-3304: Mandatory revocation of license; definition
- 28-3305: Court action (with respect to license) on conviction
- 28-3315: Period of suspension (the period is waived if pursuant to 28-661)
- 13-701: Sentence of imprisonment for felony (a different/older case’s plea deal also included 701.01; I can’t find that in current ARS?)
- 13-702: First time felony offenders; sentencing; definition (sets the presumptive sentence to 5 years prison)
- 13-801: Fines for felonies
Sentencing is set for 9/6/2013 at 1:30PM… though these dates often slip.
Prior traffic difficulties
The defendant has 3, all relatively recent, brushes with traffic court, according to case lookup. M-0741-4234803 in Phoenix Muni during 2010, speeding in a school zone, found responsible. Fountain Hills muni in case plea guilty/responsible to a “local charge”, case TR-201100844. And 2011 in Phoenix Muni, unsafe lane change, dismissed.
[ As of Sept 2013, there were a number of cases against Nicholas LInsk in Maricopa County Justice Courts (these courts don’t feed into publicaccess); the infractions/charges and outcomes are not available online, indicating additional citations prior to the hit-and-run. Recheck in December 2016 no longer shows those cases, perhaps there’s a time limit. But alarmingly, there was a 12/17/2014 CONVICTION for Driving on suspended license: TR2014159525000, which means he’s obviously still driving despite being on probation for the h/r and the revoked license. He plead to a violation of 28-3473, a class 1 misdemeanor, 28-707 lists a maximum penalty of six months for this crime — what does a prior-convicted felon, still on probation for the felony get for this new violation? ]
[according to courtrecords.org there’s an old couple of scottsdale tickets from 12/12/1997; speeding and no-passing violation. This doesn’t show up at caselookup(?)]
A spate of hit-and-run fatalities?
There have been 5 hit-and-run bicyclist fatalities so far in 2012; out of a total of 9 (all unofficial counts). This is a very high ratio, the “normal” ratio is something like 20% nationwide. I have the official counts for 2010 and 2011 arizona, just not handy right now.
In another incident the driver who hit and seriously injured Shayna Weitzman on June 30, 2012 remains at large. According to 3TV/azfamily, who obtained the Gila River Police Dept report, witnesses saw a 1999 white Jeep Cherokee swerve and leave the scene; the Jeep was found in the desert minutes later burning. Gila River Police questioned Desiree Carra, 23, in the incident who denied being the driver.
Nicholas Linsk, Accused of Driving Into Bicyclist and Leaving, Blames Truck Thief (Who Was Nice Enough to Return His Truck) Speaks to the story that Linsk changed several times… someone must have stolen his truck, or he thought he hit a traffic barricade. Do hit-and-run drivers always lie? and are there ever any consequences for lying to police? There weren’t in this case.
Phoenix neurologist identified as victim in fatal Fountain Hills hit-run
by Jamie Warren – Oct. 15, 2012 01:19 PM
The Arizona Republic- 12 News Breaking News Team
The bicyclist killed in a fatal traffic collision in Fountain Hills on Sunday has been identified as Dr. Marwan Maalouf, a neurologist at Saint Joseph’s Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
Dr. Maalouf was struck while riding his bicycle west on Shea Boulevard in Fountain Hills on Sunday afternoon, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Dr. Maalouf had recently been preparing to do research on treatment patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement from the Barrow Neurological Institute. He was a scientist, teacher and mentor since joining the institute two years ago.
On Sunday, a witness reported seeing a pickup hit something while driving west on Shea Boulevard, according to MCSO. The driver got out of his car to examine the damage before taking off, MCSO said.
The driver was identified as Nicholas Linsk, who works at a Target store in Fountain Hills, according to investigators in Maricopa County Superior Court documents. Linsk told authorities that when he went to the Target parking lot after work, his truck had been moved to a different parking spot and the front end was damaged. Linsk then told authorities he drove home, according to the documents.
Detectives told him a witness had spotted him. Linsk told authorities he thought he had hit a traffic barricade, even though he did not see any barricades in the area, according to the documents.
Investigators later found debris from the pickup and bicycle tire marks inside the bicycle lane that showed there had been an impact with the truck on Shea Boulevard, according to the documents.
Linsk was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an at-fault fatal traffic collision and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix, according to the documents.