Georgia law requires that a driver pull their vehicle over and stop if given a command, either vocal, by siren, or hand signal, by a law enforcement officer. Generally, failing to do so can be charged as fleeing an officer or attempting to allude. This charge is generally a misdemeanor, but there are circumstances where the charge can become a felony. The charge can become a felony if speeds are in excess of 20 m.p.h. of the posted speed limit, they strike or collide with another vehicle or pedestrian, flees in conditions which put the general public at risk or leaves the state.
The Sentinel-Record reports on a Georgia man facing murder charges in Arkansas for a fatal accident that allegedly occurred while he was fleeing from police.
20-year-old Gystin Michael Parker of Riverdale, Georgia, is set to stand trial next month after allegedly killing a Hot Springs, Arkansas man and woman while fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle.
Parker has been in custody since his arrest on September 12, 2018. He pleaded not guilty to two charges of first-degree murder, theft by receiving over $5,000, and felony fleeing.
Parker also denied his status as a habitual offender. If convicted, this could enhance his sentence. The prosecution has argued that previous convictions in Cobb County and Douglas County, Georgia and being on parole for those offenses at the time of the fatal accident qualify Parker for habitual offender status.
A pretrial hearing is set for July 22nd, with the trial to begin on July 24th.
On September 12th, 2018, a woman reported that her silver 2012 Hyundai Sonata had been stolen after she dropped the key fob while getting out of the car. Surveillance video allegedly shows Parker picking up the key fob and returning to the car 20 minutes later, getting in, and driving off.
Just under an hour later, a Hot Springs police officer spotted the stolen vehicle and attempted to pull Parker over. He allegedly accelerated so fast that officers initially lost sight of him. Parker lost control of the vehicle a short time later and struck a 2002 Toyota Corolla. Inside were the Lusters, who were killed instantly by the force of the impact.
Parker faces life imprisonment on the murder charges, as well as additional time for the other charges if convicted.
Have you been injured in an accident? We can help. Call today.