FINAL(?) UPDATE: sentencing occurred 10/14/2022; see discussion below.
10/29/2017 bicyclist killed in headon crash with wrong-way susp. impaired driver.
Summit Trail Road inside South Mountain Park, Phoenix. There were no specific location given, here is a sample of the Summit Road.
Here’s an illustration of an uphill section leading into a blind curve to the right. The road is a windy two-lane, with very narrow lanes; I get something under 20 feet from edgeline to edgeline, making each lane a bit under 10 feet. Sand/rocks/gravel is prevalent. Here’s a good view of a cyclist using the road.
- Maricopa County Superior Court Case CR2017-149739
- Case Minutes. Most recent minute indicates sentencing is scheduled for Oct 14, 2022. This is pretty funny/sad in the minute from April 7, 2022, it says “The number of continuances granted before this continuance was: Sixteen (16)”! Judge mad?
Annaleah Dominguez was indicted 11/8/2017 on a charge of reckless manslaughter (a class 2 felony);
PLEA DEAL — court minute 7/29/2022
For reasons not stated — they never are, our prosecutors work in virtual secrecy — the driver was allowed to plea to the lesser charge of Negligent Homicide. This is still a serious felony, however, the prosecutor has stipulated in the deal it is “non-dangerous”. Is this a sweetheart deal? Were there evidence problems? I guess we’ll never know, because of the opacity of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
This will likely (she has yet to be sentenced) yield, by far, the lightest sentence azbikelaw is aware of in Arizona if it where an impaired motorist killing someone (again, but are there evidence problems with the impairment?). The driver’s actions were reckless on their face (driving on the wrong side of the road around a curve) irrespective of impairment; recklessly is the standard for manslaughter — so how did it get down to negligent homicide?
This information was posted by Eric Arentsen, on the Big Orange Public Facebook page, and was also picked up by bikinginla :
Big Orange member, Rob Dollar, was killed almost five years ago. An impaired driver crossed a double yellow line and took Rob’s life in a head-on accident as he was riding his bike. We encourage those that knew Rob to send a note to the Probation Officer encouraging the stiffest sentence possible. The driver is facing 1 to 3 ½ years in jail for negligent homicide [I think it’s actually 1.5 / 2.5 / 3 years, min/presumptive/max. We hope you will make your voices heard at the sentencing by sending a note today.
Send your email to Diane.Knuepfer@jbazmc.maricopa.gov by September 28 with your thoughts about the sentence and how Rob’s death has impacted your life. Here are some bullet points to get you thinking:
· How has Rob’s death impacted you? Please build on what Rob meant to you and the community.
· How has the crime (guilty of negligent homicide) affected your life? If you are a cyclist, have you changed where you ride or how you ride?
· What are your thoughts regarding the sentence the court should impose on the defendant?
Deadline is Sept 28.
Note that the incarceration time referred to above is only theoretical, since this is being sentenced as “non-dangerous” there need not be any jail time; it can be all probation, entirely at the sentencing judge’s discretion.
The change of plea hearing:
I got a copy of the “fortherecord” recording of the 7/29/2022 hearing from Maricopa County Superior court which was to go over the plea deal and enter a change of plea. [although was an archaic process where you leave a voicemail at 602-506-7100, and then they mail you a dvd, it did work and is, at this time, free of charge. Took about 3 weeks]
there are no stipulations in the agreement as to whether sentence will result in only probation, or prison [I.e. it would be up to the judge at sentencing]. however, “if probation is granted you will be required to serve 12 months in county jail, not to be deleted or deferred…”; though would be eligible, for work furlough.
defense lawyer: “Ms. Dominguez did commit negligent homicide, ultimately with criminal negligence. She caused the death of another individual named Robert Dollar. The criminal negligence, your honor, as you’re aware, she was driving uphill on South Mountain she was aware of, and disregarded, a substantial and unjustifiable risk which did occur, uh, ultimately veering into the oncoming traffic lane, against double-yellow lines, as she did that, impact occurred with a cyclist, Mr. Dollar causing his death.” [oddly, the “aware of” business is admitting the action was reckless, implying manslaughter]
The judge then asked if anything from the prosecutor —
prosecutor: “Judge, my only addition would be that had this matter proceeded to trial the state would introduce evidence that she had alcohol and drugs in her system at the time, near the time, of the crash…”
Sentencing Hearing; Oct 14, 2022 9am Judge Beresky
Here is the sentencing minute, and as reported, she was sentenced to “A Maximum term of 3 years”; and some references made to money, fees, and restitution due. This is referred to as a “maximum” sentence, not because it can be shortened later, but rather because that is the maximum per statute, see azbikelaw.org/sentencing . There’s also something about community supervision, which I don’t quite understand (comes after prison?)… anyway, i’m more concerned with how they handle licencse revocation, which is supposed to be automatic (due to the crime involved. see above)… and does anyone really verify that she’s not driving w/o a license once she gets out (or even while she’s “in” she’s eligible for work furlough according to what the judge said at the change of plea hearing)
The Pre-sentence Report
The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists bought a copy of the pre-sentence report, as prepared by the Arizona Probation Department; (which was pricey, by the way, at $30, ;which is 50 cents/page which seems too expensive, it’s just a scan). The report itself is a couple of pages, and attached were all the letters sent to APD ahead of sentencing. It does note that according to the police report,
“an officer detected a faint odor of alcohol. She performed poorly on field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test revealed a 0.082% BAC. It is noted that elsewhere in the police report it indicated her blood alcohol content was 0.089%. She admitted she used marijuana the day before”
Breath tests are widely considered inaccurate ( and possibly aren’t even admissible anymore in AZ?), but blood at 0.089 should be strong enough to convict on DUI, especially for a minor where the limit is zero.
A number of the letters attached claimed to be eye-witnesses who saw the driver not stop, continuing toward the top of the mountain (though she was not charged with hit-and-run) where she subsequently appeard to throw contraband (marijuana) out the window.
In any event the report recommends a presumptive sentence, which would be 2.5 years. The judge, as noted above, ultimately went with the max sentence of 3 years.
Robert Dollar, 36, was riding his 10-speed bicycle southbound from the top of South Mountain around 9:40 a.m. Sunday. As he rounded the corner, 19-year-old Annaleah Dominguez struck and killed Dollar.
According to police, Dominguez was driving northbound on Summit Trail Road with two passengers inside. She crossed the double yellow lines going northbound in the southbound lanes to pass another bicyclist that was in front of her heading up the trail road.
After Dollar was struck, CPR was performed by citizens and the Phoenix Fire and Medical Department. However, Dollar was pronounced deceased on scene.
Dominguez admitted to officers of recently drinking and ingesting marijuana. The officers discovered a quantity of marijuana just outside the car that one of the passengers threw out after the accident.
Dominguez showed signs of impairment and was booked into jail for manslaughter and drug charges.
FileNumber: 201701904079 -> phoenix number 17001904079 No report available at this time (probably due to criminal proceedings?).
The data has way too many UNKNOWNS; not sure what’s up with that. Directions and so forth. These all seem to have been known. It has the wrong lighting condition, says DARK, but it happened mid-morning.
It correctly lists and faults motorist for DROVE IN OPPOSING LANE. However, it lists cyclist behavior/violation as EXCEEDED_LAWFUL_SPEED which seems rather unlikely
The corrected ADOT incident number is 3426990 (initially it was 3321986; that is gone now, had lots of “unknowns” in it; Need to correct his on spreadsheet)