Drag racer convicted in fatal Ahwatukee crash

[by the way, this is just another incident where a driver drove up over the sidewalk. In this instance “only” a motorist was killed but obviously anyone on the sidewalk would have killed or seriously injured]

This is a historical/archive incident occurring nearly two decades ago… involving very fast driving as well as DUI, that as a result a Domino’s pizza delivery driver was killed. The claim that the delivery driver was at fault, he emerged from a driveway, for causing the crash did not prevent the fast & drinking driver from being convicted at jury trial of 2nd Degree Murder (and also hit-and-run).

July 4, 2001 just after midnight. Warner-Elliot, just S of Equestrian, Phoenix (Ahwatukee)

The crash involved 3 vehicles,  a third driver: Weston Doyle, 17 of yellow mustang was allegedly drag racing Sucharew. Dolye lost control but didn’t hit either of the other cars and crashed into a block wall. Sucharew was charged with 2nd degree homicide and leaving the scene (hiding in a yard!), was driving a white eclipse and the victim was driving a red Mitsubishi. story lead section B on 7/5/2001. Traveling between 70 and 80mph… “Alcohol was believed to be involved, but a driving-under-the-influence charge will not be filed because of the homicide charge, police said”

Drag racer convicted in fatal crash
Jan 18, 2002
PHOENIX (AP) — A man accused of drag racing in Ahwatukee while drunk and causing a crash that killed a pizza delivery driver was convicted of second-degree murder Friday.
A Maricopa County Superior Court jury also found Scott Sucharew guilty of leaving the scene of the July 4 crash that killed Steven Welch, 33.
Defense attorneys had argued that Welch was at fault because he pulled out in front of the car driven by Sucharew, 31.
Authorities said Sucharew had a 0.141 percent blood-alcohol reading after the early morning accident — well above Arizona’s DUI law.
The state’s blood-alcohol concentration limit — the level at which a person is legally presumed to be driving under the influence of alcohol — was lowered to 0.08 percent from 0.10 percent late last year.
Sucharew is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 22.
— Arizona Daily Sun

Criminal Case

  • CR-2001093523 Maricopa County Superior Court
    Scott G Sucharew 28-661 (F3) HIT AND RUN W/DEATH/INJURY, 13-1104 (F1) MURDER 2ND DEGREE, Guilty By Jury 1/18/2002
    Defendant is represented by Michael Black
  • Here are case minutes.


Since this was a full trial, there are day-by-day minutes of the trial, e.g Day 2 on 1/9/2002 had a lot of detail about admissions made by defendant being ruled voluntary

Sentencing minute. Mitigated term of 11 years prison. (The presumptive for 2nd Degree murder is 16 years, and minimum is 11). As usual, the hit-and-run doesn’t add any prison time. There is or may be some confusion about dangerous/non-dangerous, for an F1 (unlike lower category homicide; manslaughter or neg hom) there is no distinction between dangerous and non-dangerous with regards to sentencing. Hit-and-run are typically/normally charged as non-dangerous, even though a serious felony; and allows for, and typically, nets only probation when imprisoned for other crime. There were a whole bunch of Rule 32 motions; and something about a claim that there was a clerical error as to the community supervision part of the sentence.

It seems ridiculous on its face to claim that 2nd degree murder is non-dangerous and non-violent.


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