Man who killed pedestrian in hit-and-run released on parole

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A man who turned himself in for running over a man and leaving him on the street was granted parole after serving about half of his sentence.

The CNMI Board of Parole approved the application of Esekiel “Easy” Smith, 33, for early release after serving over one year of his five-year sentence despite opposition by the Office of the Attorney General.

According to OAG Chief Prosecutor John Bradley, he opposed Smith’s application because causing the death of an individual and abandoning them without medical care is a serious crime. In addition, Bradley said, Smith thinks his sentence is “too long,” which shows little appreciation for the seriousness of his crime.

“Pieces of human flesh were scattered around the scene as far as 150 feet from impact. Smith thinks his sentence of five years is ‘too long.’ That perhaps shows little appreciation for the seriousness of the crime and his failure to stop and report the accident,” he said.

Back in August 2018, Smith was convicted of accident/reckless driving resulting in the death of a pedestrian that he abandoned. In January 2019, Smith was sentenced to five years and six months and he has served nearly half of that sentence.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Smith said during his change of plea hearing that he was driving home close to midnight in Puerto Rico at a speed of around 40mph and it was dark and raining when he hit the pedestrian. Smith told the court that after hitting the victim, he continued to drive away because he panicked and was scared. He later decided to turn himself in because he felt extremely guilty.

On Aug. 19, 2018, at approximately 3:37am, DPS received a call about an auto-pedestrian incident adjacent to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. power plant. Upon arriving at the scene, officers met with the caller who had reported the incident.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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