June 21, 2012 – Montecito, Ca.
As reported here on CrimeVoice.com, Allison Meadows, 26, was the victim of a reported hit-and-run driver in the pre-dawn hours of June 6th traveling on East Valley Road, a residential thoroughfare featuring numerous estates of the rich and famous.
Shortly after the accident, Lanie Tyrone Richardson, 28 and a passenger in his Toyota 4-Runner reported finding Meadows and Lindsay Keebler, 25, injured on the roadway and brought them to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where Meadows died as a result of her injuries. For a period of time thereafter, and pending ongoing investigation by California Highway Patrol and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Detectives, Richardson and his companion were regarded as “good samaritans” for bringing the girls immediately to medical care.
With a number of questionable factors at play, however, “a full-scale investigation into the facts and assertions of the case went into full gear,” according to CHP spokesman Jason Miller. East Valley Road was shut down for the next 24 hours pursuant to the investigation, which, Miller announced to the media, involved “two women riding on the exterior of the suspect vehicle on the hood and front windshield” while Richardson was behind the wheel “driving in a reckless manner.”
The stretch of East Valley Road where the accident took place is known to locals as “the bump”, as the road surface rises abruptly and just yards further descends quickly to accommodate a streambed culvert below the pavement. According to Drew Sugars, SBSD Public Information Officer, “cars driving at excessive speed down this straightaway can easily become airborne, which attracts some young drivers.”
Investigators soon determined that Richardson and his passenger had given officers and hospital staff false information about the accident, and had in fact “collaborated on a plan to deceive law enforcement as to the actual circumstances, Miller reported.
Richardson was arrested on June 8th, and was brought before Superior Court Judge Jean Dandona for arraignment. He was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff at that time and returned to court on June 21st to answer to charges of second degree murder, manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, and assorted prior DUI enhancements. He entered a “not guilty” plea to all charges, and remains in custody at Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $1,000,000.
In statements to the press, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley remarked that “This murder charge is based upon an allegation that the actions of the defendant shows a conscious disregard for human life.”
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
Daily Sound: Richardson pleads not guilty in crash that killed 25-year-old Santa Barbara woman
CrimeVoice: Half-million-dollar Bail for suspected hit-and-run killer