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Davenport man charged in fatal crash waives preliminary hearing

Davenport man charged in fatal crash waives preliminary hearing


A Davenport man accused of fleeing from a Davenport police officer and crashing into another vehicle, killing its driver, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Angel Domingo Ochoa, 19, filed a written waiver through his attorney, Eric Syverud, Thursday in Scott County District Court. His preliminary hearing was slated for Friday.

During a preliminary hearing, a judge hears testimony to determine whether there is enough probable cause to move the case forward. The judge does not determine the defendant’s guilt or innocence at this hearing.

Ochoa will be arraigned July 25. He faces charges of homicide by vehicle-reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle, and interference with official acts in the June 13 crash that killed Lori Ann Letts, 48, of Davenport.

He remained in the Scott County Jail Thursday.

Just after 2 p.m., June 13, Davenport Police Officer Michael Stegall attempted to pull over a red 1998 Lincoln Town Car driven by Ochoa at Division Street and Northwest Boulevard.

The officer noted several traffic violations, including no taillight and seat belts not properly worn by Ochoa and his passenger, according to arrest affidavits filed in the case.

Instead of stopping, Ochoa fled. Davenport police have said Ochoa was on the department’s pursuable list of individuals who have had recent involvement in shootings or crimes involving guns.

Ochoa drove at speeds between 80 to 90 mph and failed to stop at multiple red lighted intersections as he tried to elude the officer.

Ochoa, who was traveling westbound on Kimberly Road and approaching North Fairmount Street, failed to stop at the steady red light of the intersection and continued through the intersection and broadsided a white 2010 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Letts.

Letts was traveling southbound on North Fairmount Street at the time of the crash.

Ochoa was seen on dashcam video and by Stegall trying to get out of the Lincoln Town Car from the driver’s seat but could not because of the severe damage to the vehicle. He and his passenger were taken to a local hospital for their injuries. The passenger was later taken to University Hospitals, Iowa City.

According to court documents, Ochoa admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle the day of the crash and driving recklessly through traffic to get away from police.

The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the crash.

According to her obituary, Letts was employed for the last 12 years at Hy-Vee on West Locust Street and with Love's the last two years. She previously worked as a CNA for 12 years at Kahl Home.

“She enjoyed spending any and all of her free time with her close family and friends,” according to her obituary. “She especially loved being around her grandchildren who she loved dearly. She was an avid music lover and really enjoyed watching her favorite football team the Miami Dolphins. She also loved watching her sons play sports while they were in school. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.”


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