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Woman pleads guilty in crash that injured Tucson bicyclist

Woman pleads guilty in crash that injured Tucson bicyclist

  • Updated

A Tucson woman could be placed on probation or receive up to seven years in prison after admitting she left the scene after causing a crash that resulted in serious injury, tampered with evidence and caused criminal damage.

On May 20, 2011, Samuel Abate, then 23, was struck by a vehicle as he was riding his bicycle north on North Swan Road between East Camp Lowell Drive and the Rillito River. He suffered severe head and brain injuries and numerous broken bones.

Abigail Allin, then 21, was arrested six days later.

At the time of her arrest, it was reported Allin was driving without car insurance and had her damaged windshield fixed between the time of the crash and the arrest.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office had extended a plea offer to Allin at one point, but later withdrew it.

Now retired Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger ordered prosecutors to extend the plea agreement again because he believed they withdrew it only because “the press got involved in the case.”

The state took the matter to the Arizona Court of Appeals, which held the state had the right to withdraw the plea.

“We find no basis to conclude a prosecutor denies ‘fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice’ by permitting potential media attention to influence the decision whether to offer or withdraw a plea,” Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote in July 2012.

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