News Releases

March 23, 2017: Man Charged in Santa Monica Hit-and-Run Fatality

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 21-year-old motorist accused of killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence, then fleeing the scene, was charged today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Absadi Tewelde Kidane (dob 2/15/96) faces one felony count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter and resisting executive officer.

Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kim of the DUI Training and Prosecution Section said case SA095262 includes allegations that the defendant fled the scene of the crime.

The defendant pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to return on April 21 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

Kidane is accused of striking Donald Thomas Jr., 40, of Hawthorne with his vehicle as Thomas paid for parking at a kiosk adjacent to the Santa Monica courthouse. The defendant allegedly fled the scene, struck another vehicle and fled from police on foot, the prosecutor said.

If convicted as charged, Kidane faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 15 years in state prison. The prosecutor is requesting bail at $10 million.

The case is under investigation by the Santa Monica Police Department.