Earlier this month, an appeals court in Arizona considered whether a criminal defendant that had caused a deadly accident was indeed guilty of homicide and aggravated assault. Originally, the defendant was convicted after his truck collided with an ATV while he was under the influence. Despite the defendant’s argument on appeal that the trial court improperly limited his defense, the court of appeals affirmed the original guilty verdict.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, a woman was at the store one evening when she saw several teenage girls next to her; she recognized the girls as being the same ones that were on an ATV she had recently passed on the road. Before leaving the store, the woman saw the girls on the ATV drive out ahead of her. She also saw the defendant in this case, in his truck, driving out around the same time. Minutes later, she drove away herself, and immediately noticed debris on the road. She knew there had been an accident, and she called 911 to report that the ATV and the truck had collided.
Investigators and first respondents arrived at the scene, and they found two of the ATV riders had died while the third had suffered serious injuries. The defendant had run away from the accident, and the woman from the store told officers she thought he could have been involved.