, 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.
- Man killed in avalanche had a passion for...
- Local religious leaders urge support for...
- Cities, state battle panhandling through the...
- Dog lovers walk to support anti-bias measure
- About Utah: All the mac and cheese they can eat
- The story of a fish, a river and what's ahead...
- Body of man, 51, discovered outside Cedar City
- Family of BYU student hit by car say they are...
- Advocates rally and 'roar' for... 56
- Utah Democrats offer full Medicaid... 32
- Gov. Herbert threatens veto of House... 31
- Judge: Biological father will share... 28
- The story of a fish, a river and what's... 24
- Cities, state battle panhandling... 21
- Local religious leaders urge support... 20
- Utah unemployment rate hits five-year low 11