Hearing In CHP Officer’s Death Set

Sacramento, CA  |  Jacqueline Fox
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CHP Officer Lucas Chellew. Courtesy CHP

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - A July 13 preliminary hearing for the man accused of causing the death of CHP Officer Lucas Chellew February 22 in South Sacramento, has been rescheduled in order to give CHP investigators more time to complete their investigation of the accident.

Defense attorney Alice Michele requested an extension for the hearing for her client, Alberto Quiroz, 26 at the time of arrest, who faces one misdemeanor and three felony counts of vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest.

Motorcycle patrolman Chellew was pursuing Quiroz, also on a motorcycle, on Fruitridge Road, when he was suddenly cut off by a passing car, lost control of his motorcycle and hit a pole. He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. Quiroz was arrested shortly after the pursuit.

Deputy District Attorney Aaron Miller confirmed that the hearing, which was stalled for several months for settlement conferences before being calendared, was delayed so that CHP officials conducting a detailed investigation into the crash that killed Chellew could have more time to prepare.

“They need more time to put together their report before we can move forward,” Miller said, adding that the original charges have not changed in the case against Quiroz, but declining to say that they could.

The CHP report is expected to play a critical role in the case against Quiroz.  Should it reveal willful recklessness on the defendant’s part, charges against him could change to include at least one count of vehicular manslaughter.

Chellew’s widow was present in the courtroom for the hearing.  She sat flanked by CHP patrolmen, presumably colleagues of her late husband, as Judge Kevin J. McCormick asked Quiroz, clad in an orange jumpsuit inside a detaining cell, if he agreed to waive his right to have his case heard sooner. He did.