Boise man pleads guilty in fatal Garden City hit-and-run

y Erin Fenner

Gavin Haley, 31, of Boise
Gavin Haley, 31, of Boise

Gavin Haley pleaded guilty Monday to inattentive or careless driving, a misdemeanor, in a plea deal on what would have been the first day of his trial on vehicular manslaughter.

Haley, 31, was then sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 65 days suspended and 4 credited, and two years of unsupervised probation.

Driving an SUV, Haley hit and killed cyclist Victor Haskel, 53, shortly after midnight on Sept. 27, 2013, along North 30th Street in Garden City. It was several hours before Haskel’s body was found. Haley turned himself in to Boise police the following day after they released a bulletin saying they were seeking the driver of a dark Land Rover SUV.

He was originally charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, a felony. But a jury deadlocked on that charge in June 2015. Prosecutors had contended Haley at least knew he hit something, even if he didn’t know what, and failed to stop or notify police. Haley’s attorney argued his client stopped and looked around the area, but couldn’t see anything in the dark, rainy conditions.

Prosecutors decided to try again, but last November revised the charge to vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor. That was then revised again in Monday’s plea deal.

Haley had reached one other plea deal early on in the case, agreeing in 2014 to admit to the felony charge of leaving the scene if it came with a withheld judgment. That would have allowed him to have the conviction removed from his record if he successfully completed a six-month, prison-based treatment program.

But he later withdrew his plea after attorneys in the case discovered he had a 2004 felony burglary conviction from Minidoka County. Fourth District Judge Thomas Neville said at the time that he was no longer comfortable issuing the withheld judgment given Haley’s history.