Homeowners wonder why driver is not facing charges in crash
Henderson, NV (KTNV) -- A Henderson couple got quite a scare when a car came crashing into their home. Months after the incident, they want to know why the driver is not facing any charges for the crash.
"We heard a huge crash, loudest noise I ever heard," said homeowner Robert Fowler.
Fowler said he and his wife were sound asleep.
"I thought some sort of explosion, or something like that," said Fowler.
It was October 11, 2012, around 2 a.m. When Fowler and his wife got up, they discovered a car in the front of their Henderson home, destroying part of the master bath. The couple snapped pictures and took video of the damage.
"We thought it might've been lightning, since it had been raining, and then discovered there was a car in the bathroom just a few feet away from us," said Fowler.
Action News obtained a "declaration of arrest" report from Henderson Police. It shows police arrested the driver at the scene. In the report, the officer wrote that he charged the driver with driving under the influence second offense and failure to maintain lane, both misdemeanors.
The couple said the damage cost them around $30,000. Fowler said he started calling Henderson Municipal Court in the weeks after the crash, anticipating he would be called as a witness in the case. That's how he discovered the driver was not charged. Confused, he turned to Action News.
"Why can someone drive into a house and cause all this damage and the court system just tells me it's been dismissed," Fowler said.
Even though the officer wrote in the arrest report that he charged the driver, Action News learned that it's up to the prosecutors to file charges.
City attorneys have not filed charges so they could have more time to work on their case, said spokeswoman Kathy Blaha.
A blood test showed the driver's blood alcohol content was below Nevada's legal limit, said Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul. However, police are now awaiting results of another round of tests, this time to check for drugs, Paul said.
Paul said a blood sample was sent to a Pennsylvania lab to test for drugs during the first week of February, several months after the crash. So why the gap? Blaha said she couldn't say because the case is still pending and under investigation.
The case may not be over. When it comes to misdemeanor charges, Action News learned that prosecutors have up to a year from the date of the incident to file charges. And if prosecutors do decide to file multiple charges for one incident, Blaha said city attorneys prefer to prosecute all charges at the same time.
Action News has not named the driver because he's not been charged. The driver's defense attorney said he's prepared to defend his client if the case moves forward.
The Fowlers said they are now considering a civil case.