Homicide charge dismissed against driver disabled in deadly crash
, Utah Highway Patrol
MONTICELLO, San Juan County — A judge has dismissed all charges against a driver who was permanently disabled in a suspected DUI crash that killed another man.
Erik H. Yazzie, 33, of Phoenix, faced charges of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; DUI, a third-degree felony; theft by receiving stolen property, a class A misdemeanor; and improper lane travel, a class C misdemeanor.
Prosecutors, however, asked 7th District Judge Lyle Anderson to dismiss the case Monday, citing the debilitating injuries Yazzie suffered in the crash that killed Filemon "Phil" Ellis of Sweetwater, Texas.
"Mr. Yazzie obtained documents from doctors in Arizona, where he is being cared for by his ex-wife, saying that he is an invalid, has the mental capacity of a 9- or 10-year-old and is unable to care for himself," San Juan County Attorney Craig Halls told the Deseret News.
"There's not a lot of utility in us taking a person in that condition (to trial)," Halls said.
Based on the doctors' statements, Anderson granted the prosecution's request.
Yazzie left a Moab restaurant on April 21, 2012, without paying for his meal, stole a car and was "fleeing from Moab" when he slammed into Ellis' sport utility vehicle about 15 miles south of town on state Route 191, according to charging documents. Ellis died at the scene.
Tests showed Yazzie had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21, the charges state. The legal threshold for impairment in Utah is .08.
- Idea for Burt's Bees land to become park...
- Top 7 money-saving tips for summer travel
- South Jordan mother spends days caring for...
- Repo man charged with manslaughter in...
- Herbert appoints new 3rd District Court judge
- Polygamous food stamp fraud trial pushed back...
- Bomb threats called in to 2 Utah schools
- 4 honored with 2016 Public Service Awards
- Are Utahns tiring of Mitt Romney... 105
- Utah and 10 states sue Obama... 40
- Teacher on leave after telling students... 33
- Hatch steadfast in holding up Supreme... 17
- Salt Lake's next skyscraper? Proposed... 15
- Sen. Hatch set to tour Utah's national... 12
- Skateboarder dies after being shot in... 10
- Utah lawsuit challenges porn filter fees 9