Hit-and-run arraignment to proceed in Lacy case
Written by Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate July 08, 2010 01:21 pm
Judge lowers charges against 2 defendants
A preliminary hearing wrapped up Wednesday for the three men charged in the hit-and-run death of 15-year-old Josh Lacy in 2007.
Del Norte Superior Court Judge William Follett found there was enough evidence to proceed with the filing of formal charges against Todd W. Nastiuk, Trevor A. Lehto and Donald K. Webb, but two of them now face lesser charges.
Nastiuk and Lehto will be formally charged with driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person, hit-and-run with injury and a special enhancement for fleeing the scene of an accident.
All three defendants also face felony counts for being accessories after the fact and conspiracy for allegedly trying to cover up the crime and fleeing the scene.
In addition, Webb faces a charge of threatening a witness.
The previous charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence against Nastiuk and Lehto were dismissed due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Judge Follett also gave Del Norte County District Attorney Mike Riese the opportunity to still seek charges against Nastiuk and Lehto of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.
“It’s still up in the air,” Riese said. “I’m going to take a little time to do some research, then I’ll decide in a couple of days.”
He has until their July 16 arraignment to seek the stronger charges.
Riese said there is ample evidence supporting the notion the three defendants were in the vehicle and acted afterward to cover up the scene.
However, contradictory statements regarding who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash emerged during the hearing.
Lacy, a Del Norte High School freshman, was struck while trying to catch a school bus Jan. 12, 2007, on U.S. Highway 101 north of Crescent City.
Lacy’s family attended the hearings held Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’re pleased with the outcome and thankful with the work of the DA and law enforcement and the support of the community,” said Carlene Lacy, Josh’s mother.