For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has released the trial result of a felony hit and run prosecution that ended in a guilty verdict. The defendant was convicted of having left the scene of a June, 2017 accident that occurred in the industrial area of Sparks and left one victim seriously injured. Sentencing is set for August 6, 2018 in Department 9 of District Court and the defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.
Robert Anthony Totman, 53, from Fernley, was found guilty on one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Personal Injury (Felony) last week after a three day trial. Totman was arrested by the Sparks Police Department (SPD) following an investigation into a June 19, 2017 traffic accident on Spice Island Drive that determined he had fled the scene after crashing his work truck into a passing motorcyclist. The 33 year old male victim sustained serious injuries in the crash that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee. SPD accident investigators responding to the scene were able to locate Totman over three hours later in the area of Greg Street and determined he had been working for a local property management company dropping off sandbags at the time of the crash. When contacted, Totman was found to be under the influence of alcohol. Based on this, Totman was arrested for the hit and run, as well as felony driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). This office filed formal criminal charges against Totman and the case proceeded to trial. Totman had a blood alcohol level of .280 and ultimately pled guilty to the felony DUI charge, which was his third DUI offense in 7 years. The DUI charge level was due to the intervening three hours between the crash and police contact with Totman. In cases where there is significant time between the crash and arrest, defendants can claim intoxication is the result of drinking after the accident. The 2015 Nevada Legislature attempted to address this potential incentive for impaired drivers to flee the scene of an accident by raising the maximum penalty for Hit and Run Causing Injury or Death from 15 to 20 years in prison, same as that of DUI.
At trial, Deputy District Attorney Carrie Morton presented evidence of damage to the truck from the crash. Testimony was also presented that showed after the defendant refused to return to the business, he told the business owner that he thought the police were looking for him