Lamont Arthur Junior Enters Plea In Fatal Vehicle-Bicycle Collision Case
A man accused of hitting and killing a bicyclist in the downtown Casper area, has entered a plea in court.
Thirty-five year old Lamont Arthur Junior has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated assault and battery.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in late May, officers responded to the intersection of First and Beech Streets for a report of a collision, between a Yukon, driven by Arthur Junior and a bicyclist, later identified as 39-year old Matthew Harker, who died at a Denver hospital, as a result of injuries he sustained.
Witnesses told Police that Arthur Junior was traveling eastbound on First Street in the right hand lane, and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
In the left hand lane was a large service truck, with another vehicle behind that, thus Arthur Junior did not have a clear view of the intersection.
Harker was going westbound on First Street and was attempting to turn left onto Beech, when the collision occurred.
The truck driver said he was stopped at the light, because it had turned yellow.
Another witness told officers, that she was following Arthur Junior earlier, and saw that he had tapped his brakes slightly, before going through the light at the intersection, which was red at the time of the collision.
Crash investigators and witnesses say Arthur Junior was going at least 35 miles per hour, at the time of the collision.
When interviewed, Arthur Junior stated he was aware that his vehicle did not stop quickly due to having oversized tires on the vehicle.
He said he was sleepy and was feeling the effects of drinking earlier at around 1 or 2am
He admitted to entering the intersection on a yellow light, and was coasting through it.
One person who was with Arthur Junior during the time he was drinking said “Lamont was slamming the vodka” throughout the night.
During the morning before the crash, another person told police that Arthur Junior agreed to give him a ride to work, and during the drive, he told Arthur Junior to slow down and stop driving so recklessly.
The person getting the ride said at one point, Arthur Junior’s driving scared him and he had to grab the dash and door handle.
At one point, Arthur Junior ran a red light at First and David.
At his preliminary hearing, a crash reconstructionist with the Wyoming Highway Patrol testified that the brake pedal on the vehicle was what he said squishy, indicating the brakes were in bad shape.
He added that had the vehicle been going at the posted speed limit, or slower, then the collision probably would not have occurred.
Another investigator told the court that Arthur Junior acknowledged the brake situation on the vehicle.
Police noted signs of alcohol intoxication on Arthur Junior during his interview, and blood and urine samples were collected and sent to the state laboratory for testing.
The tests came back in late June, showing that Arthur Junior had a .12% alcohol content in his blood and a .16% alcohol content in his urine.
The defense argued that when Harker turned into the intersection on a yellow light, he did not grant right of way to oncoming traffic.
Arthur Junior is being held on $75,000 bond awaiting trial, and could face up to 20 years in prison on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge, and up to 10 years in prison on the aggravated assault and battery charge if convicted.