Man charged in fatal Tahoe accident arrested at Giants game
September 18, 2012
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A Grass Valley man facing two felony counts for his alleged role in a New Year’s Eve weekend fatal accident at a pedestrian crosswalk at Lake Tahoe has been arrested for allegedly attacking a man at Sunday’s San Francisco Giants baseball game.
According to various media reports, Christopher Torii Smith, 26, was arrested at AT&T Park, where the Giants were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers, shortly after he allegedly approached a 21-year-old man in a bathroom and hit him numerous times.
The San Jose Mercury News was the first to report Smith’s arrest Monday evening.
Smith allegedly fled the bathroom but was arrested at the park and booked into jail on suspicion of battery, vandalism and public intoxication. The victim suffered a laceration to his lip in the attack.
Further details on the incident were not available Tuesday afternoon.
Fatal crosswalk incident
Smith is awaiting trial on two felony charges of driving under the influence of a prohibited substance causing death regarding the Lake Tahoe incident.
On Tuesday, Michael Becker — Smith’s attorney for those charges — said he had briefly spoken with Smith that day before his cellphone service cut the call short. As of Tuesday afternoon, he said needed more information about the San Francisco incident before offering comment.
Michael Bolenbaker, a deputy district attorney with Washoe County, said Tuesday a trial date for the Tahoe incident was set for May 20, 2013, after Smith was arraigned Aug. 29 in Reno.
Smith has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to previous reports, Smith was driving a black 2006 Chevrolet pickup southbound on Highway 28 east of the Village Boulevard intersection shortly before 8 p.m. Dec. 30, 2011, when his truck struck Linda S. Mathis and Robert C. Mathis, who were crossing from the east side. The Mathises, who were Incline residents, both 46, died.
According to the charges, Smith, who was 25 at the time of the incident, had marijuana in his system, and he failed to yield to the right of way of the pedestrians. The amount of marijuana in Smith’s blood was identified as greater than or equal to 5 nanograms per milliliter.
On Tuesday, Becker hinted at one of Smith’s main points of defense, saying that Nevada’s law regarding controlled substances within one’s system may be faulty, saying that Smith likely was not under the influence during the incident.
“That’s the challenge, as whatever was in his system had likely metabolized and was no longer affecting him,” Becker said.
Becker also said he expects “ongoing negotiations” to occur with the DA’s office about a possible plea deal to avoid trial.
Kevin MacMillan is the managing editor of the Tahoe Bonanza.