Husband and Wife Arrested for Hit and Run Murder, Following the Death of a Calimesa Bicyclist
CALIMESA- On Wednesday, January 29, Sheriff’s investigators arrested William Donald Johnson of Calimesa on a felony warrant for homicide, and his wife Karri Johnson as an accessory after the fact to vehicular manslaughter.
On December 29, 2013 at approximately 12:25 PM, Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the scene of a traffic collision near the intersection of Calimesa Blvd and Singleton Road. Deputies discovered bicyclist Phillip Richards, 64 of Beaumont, lying in the roadway with severe injuries. The victim was transported to the hospital where he remained in critical condition.
Witnesses at the scene reported a light green or blue compact four-door vehicle that swerved across the center divider into the bicyclist’s path, hitting the cyclist, and then fleeing the scene. The vehicle was reported to have sustained damage to its front headlight and front left side.
On January 6, a Riverside County Deputy assigned to the city of Calimesa observed a vehicle fitting this description parked in the driveway of a home in the 1200 block of Cherry Lane. The vehicle was towed to the Cabazon station and processed for additional evidence. William Johnson was identified as a suspect in the hit and run and arrested.
Richards succumbed to his injuries on January 11 and six days later Johnson was rearrested and his charges upgraded to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and fleeing the scene. Further evidence came to light in the extensive investigation and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office upgraded Johnson’s charges again, this time to homicide, and issued a warrant.
Johnson was arrested on Wednesday and booked into Smith Correctional Facility with a one million dollar bail. His wife Karri Johnson, 43 of Calimesa was interviewed and believed to be an accessory after the fact. She was also arrested and booked.
Banning-Beaumont Patch: Calimesa Man Accused of Hit-and-Run on Bicyclist Critically Injured
Record Gazette: Second arrest made in Beaumont bicyclist’s death