A preliminary hearing was again reset for the driver in a fatal hit-and-run case in October related to the killing of a 52-year-old Vallejo man on a bicycle in Fairfield and then fleeing the scene.
Nadhir Muftah Ghuzi was due to appear in Division 11 on Friday for a previously scheduled preliminary hearing in Division 11 at the Fairfield Justice Center.
But Judge William J. Pendergast ended the hearing and ordered Ghuzi, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, at 9:30 a.m. on April 8 for a motion to suppress evidence and at 9:30 a.m. on May 11 for the to return to the rescheduled hearing.
Ghuzi is being represented by Assistant Public Defender Jeannette Garcia, who in a previous court appearance said her client also denied all previous convictions, pleas and allegations of criminal offences.
During a previous court appearance, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Morrell told Pendergast that Ghuzi acknowledged Watson’s advice in his earlier conviction for drunk driving. If allowed, it will be an important part of their prosecution should the case go to trial if Ghouzi were charged with murder as a result of the advice.
In California, all drivers convicted of drunk driving must be subject to certain mandatory conviction requirements, including the Watson Advice, which, following a DUI trial that results in a conviction, allows murder charges to be filed in subsequent fatal DUI collisions under certain conditions allows hit.
In her client’s defense, Garcia said the cyclist, who the Solano County coroner identified as Darryl L. Mitchell, “did not obey the highway code,” rode the bike without safety lights, and the night he was on , hit and killed in traffic driving, 19 October.
Fairfield Police Department records show that Ghouzi, who turned 31 on the day of the fatal clash, was arrested and sent to Solano County Jail on October 20 on suspicion of first-degree murder; DUI Causes Personal Injury; with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 percent; a probation violation for a previous DUI conviction; and hit and run resulting in death or injury, all felonies.
Ghuzi remains at Stanton Correctional Facility in Fairfield without bail.
Lt. Jausiah Jacobsen, the police department’s public information officer, said dispatchers received a report at 7 p.m. of a collision between a vehicle and a bicyclist near the intersection of North Texas and Wisconsin streets.
Upon arrival, officers found the cyclist dead and at this point only stated his age pending notification of next of kin.
A witness was able to provide a description of the vehicle, and investigators began searching the city’s security camera systems when the department’s traffic division took over the investigation, Jacobsen said.
“Ultimately, they were able to locate the suspect vehicle” using the department’s number plate reading system, identifying it as a Nissan SUV and identifying the driver through security camera footage from a local company, he added.
Investigators obtained search and arrest warrants for the suspect and later that evening discovered the vehicle in an apartment building. They impounded the vehicle and arrested Ghouzi.
As the investigation continued, “alcohol impairment is considered to be a factor,” Jacobsen said.
He wasn’t sure Ghouzi had acknowledged – or understood – the potentially serious consequences following his previous conviction for DUI.
https://www.thereporter.com/2022/03/18/prelim-hearing-date-reset-again-for-fairfield-man-charged-in-october-fatal-hit-and-run/ Preliminary hearing date for October indicted Fairfield driver reset again – The Vacaville Reporter