ML man sentenced for vehicular assault

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MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man was sentenced to four months in jail in connection with a 2015 vehicle and bicycle collision that left a man with two neck fractures and a lacerated septum.

Levi Hines, 26, of Moses Lake, pleaded guilty in Grant County Superior Court to vehicular assault. Deputy Prosecutor Mark Laiminger and defense attorney Mike Morgan reached a plea agreement in the case and Hines was sentenced to four months in jail.

The sentence stems from an incident in Moses Lake almost two years ago. On Oct. 30, 2015 the Moses Lake Police Department received a report of a collision at the Dairy Queen on South Pioneer Way. Police contacted the male victim at the scene, who received several lacerations to his face and other injuries.

“EMS immediately began to perform aid on the victim who was lying on the pavement next to the curb. His bike was mangled and lying next to him. His face was covered in blood, however, his eyes were open and he was tracking the people around him. The victim did not speak and only moaned in pain,” wrote an officer.

The victim was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with two neck fractures and a lacerated septum. Police were able to contact Hines and spotted two pieces of tinfoil on the passenger side floorboard, along with an orange syringe cap, in his vehicle. Police began to suspect drugs played a role in the collision with the bicyclist, as Hines was “slow to respond to questions” and told officers he did not see the victim.

Witnesses reported seeing Hines leave Dairy Queen and start heading north on South Juniper Drive. They claimed the bicyclist was heading east on South Alderwood Drive and Hines went through the intersection and struck him. Hines gave a different account of what occurred, which prompted an officer to ask him to submit to a voluntary field sobriety test and prove he should be driving.

“Hines asked why I wanted him to perform a field sobriety test. I explained his memory of the collision did not make sense when compared to what witnesses stated and the evidence suggested. I told him his response to questions was slow and his reaction to the collision showed a delayed response before he stopped the vehicle,” wrote an officer.

Hines refused to do a voluntary test and a warrant was obtained for his blood. A blood draw was conducted and Hines’ blood was sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory to be tested. Police records indicate Hines’ blood tested positive for methamphetamine.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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