A Boise motorist accused of hitting and killing a 64-year-old man who was walking along a city street this past spring was not ready to enter a plea, his attorney told an Ada County judge Tuesday.
Tyler C. Martinez, 24, is charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of Joel Eggers (Read Eggers’ obituary).
Prosecutors say Martinez struck Eggers from behind as he walked along South Development Avenue near West Airport Way on his lunch break April 8.
Eggers was a warehouse supervisor at Trimco Millwork, his daughter said. But he was best known for being the chief starter at Firebird Raceway for the past 28 years.
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Eggers’ widow, Rose, wept as she left the courtroom after Martinez opted to hold off in entering a plea. A couple others among the 20 supporting the Eggers family stormed out of the courtroom
Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Ben Harmer told Fourth District Judge Richard Greenwood that he felt Martinez had sufficient time to consider a plea deal he was offered. He noted that delaying the plea was a hardship for the victim’s family and supporters, some of whom are taking off work to attend hearings.
Greenwood scheduled a trial for Dec. 12. Martinez faces a trial in an unrelated case for felony charges of delivering a controlled substance.
Martinez was initially held on without bond for a probation violation in connection with the fatal crash. In addition to vehicular manslaughter, he was charged with destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He’s being held on $100,000 bond at the Ada County Jail.
At his arraignment in April, prosecutors said that Martinez used meth the morning of the fatal crash.
He was driving north in a gray 2005 Dodge Neon, according to the Idaho Transportation Department’s crash report. Eggers was walking north on the west shoulder of Development.
Martinez swerved across the center line and stuck Eggers from behind on the side of the road, prosecutors said.
He is accused of hastily deleting texts from his cell phone rather than helping Eggers. Officers said they had to “pry the phone” from Martinez’s hands.
Prosecutors said Martinez has issues with drug abuse, and his friends and family members reportedly attempted an intervention two weeks before the fatal accident but he refused to seek treatment.