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 ]

[Updates 8/19/2014, interesting case minute involving a “Motion to Suppress (involving claims the defendant’s cell records were improperly obtained)… and a Motion for Dessureault Hearing (involving the defendant’s photo used at a lineup”; that’s some fancy lawyering. Both motions were denied. Trial is now set for 10/27/2014.]

[As of July, trial set for 8/18/2014 (didn’t happen)]

[Update. Case minute 1/15/2014  Comp Pretrial Conf/Trial orders says trial expected to be 4 days, which seems short. Interestingly “Status of Case: A plea offer was not made”. Trial date is presently 3/12/2014 (which obviously never happened)]

This a remarkable story, kudos to the Detective Ted Yoder, and the Glendale PD.

You can follow the criminal case against the suspect, John Kovacich at superiorcourt.maricopa.gov CR2013-446736, View all case minutes for CR2013446736 here.. The defense attorney is listed as Lauwrence Kazan, who seems to be noted for defending high-profile vehicle-crime cases; and the county attorney is Tiffany Brady. Laurie Roberts refers to Kazan as “the Valley’s go-to attorney for bad drivers – the ones who can afford him, that is”.

The suspect was charged, based on 1) owning a vehicle that matches witness descriptions and debris left behind at the scene where Daniel Frampton was seriously injured July 30, 2013 ( asdm incident 2765265), and 2) owning a cell phone which was making a call around the same time, in the same area as the collision; witnesses reported they thought the driver was using a phone at the time. So, at least part of this case seems to rely on circumstantial evidence. The suspect has plead not guilty.

Note that even when the big break in the case came, it required much diligence on the part of Glendale PD; search warrants and so forth. An LEO once told me “if the owner of the (suspected hit and run) vehicle won’t talk to us, there’s nothing we can do”. This is obviously incorrect; it’s more a matter of will, and resources on the part of law enforcement.

Why did the driver run?

Well we can’t know for sure.  Had he stayed on-scene as is legally required of any driver; it’s unlikely he would have even been cited; the boy on the bicycle failed to yield to the driver.

Perhaps he had some other problem.

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