Yakima Fatal Hit and Run Case In Hands of Prosecutor Tuesday
A big decision is expected soon from Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic. Brusic and Detectives from the Yakima County Sheriff's Office are meeting Tuesday to talk about the investigation into the fatal hit-and-run death of 66-year-old Wendy Baker of Yakima. Baker was killed June 12 by a driver who fled the scene of the crash and has not been arrested or charged. Brusic now must decide whether a completed investigation by the Yakima County Sheriff's Office can justify an arrest warrant. Brusic says he knows the community is concerned and wants answers in the case but he says he's treating like any other serious case in Yakima County. Brusic says he'll look over investigative reports and determine if the evidence gathered is strong enough for him to call for further action.
It's an investigation that's based on a lot of circumstantial evidence
Brusic says since there was no eyewitness that could identify a driver the case will rely on circumstantial evidence gathered from the suspect truck and other electronics including a cell phone. The suspect vehicle has been in the Yakima County Sheriff's Office evidence facility since shortly after the crash. It was found at a construction site in East Valley. The truck was also spotted on Flock Cameras within Yakima City limits earlier in the morning before the crash on the morning of June 12.
Brusic must prove to a judge or jury who was driving the truck at the time of the crash not who owns the vehicle. He says circumstantial evidence is just as good as direct evidence depending on how it's presented to a judge or jury.
There's no guarantee an arrest will be made in the case
If the prosecutor decides the case isn't strong enough to support an arrest there's the possibility the case could be placed on hold until further evidence and information is available.