Police: Wrong Man Arrested In Hit-And-Run Death
Friends, Family Think Driver Was Drunk
Last Updated: 882 days ago
As friends and family members said goodbye Wednesday to a 25-year-old woman who was killed in a hit-and-run crash, a bizarre twist in the investigation stunned them.Monroe County prosecutors said the wrong man had been arrested in the crash that killed Lacey Deckard.Deckard and her friend, Ashley Pierce, were driving home from a party early at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when Deckard stopped to help a stranded driver in the 3400 block of West Cockrell Road, police said.Deckard was standing beside the car when a truck full of fellow partygoers rear-ended it. As Deckard's life slipped away, the occupants of the truck fled the scene.Police later arrested Anthony Somes, 42, after finding him hiding in the woods with the keys to the truck.Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller said Wednesday that Somes won't be charged because his friend, Thomas Dillman, came forward a day after the crash and said he was driving the truck.Dillman was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death, but alcohol-related charges weren't filed because authorities can't prove he was drunk."That gives us concern, because we didn't have the opportunity to test his blood, obviously, in the required window of time," Miller said.Family members were flabbergasted and saddened by the turn of events, 6News' Kara Kenney reported."It's a good scheme. They did a real good job. The guy that came in and said he did it; they didn't get to Breathalyze him," said Rick Deckard, Lacey's father. "To me, somebody's guilty. They were all drunk, which is what I believe. They can't prove that."Miller said witnesses all indicated that Dillman was behind the wheel."The important thing is he is charged with a comparable felony offense of fleeing the scene," Miller said.Pierce said grieving over her friend and dealing with the uncertainty in the case is difficult to bear."If friends can be soul mates, Lacey was my soul mate," she said.When asked what she thought an appropriate punishment for Dillman would be, Pierce said, "I don't think my response would be reasonable right now."Dillman was being held Wednesday in the Monroe County Jail. If convicted, he faces up to an eight-year sentence. Prosecutors did a blood draw when Dillman turned himself in, but results were not yet available.