Officials decide against retrial

Prosecutors have decided not to bring a Monroe man to trial a second time for vehicular homicide.

A jury last month acquitted Eizu Elijah Fredrickson, 23, of felony hit-and-run in a traffic accident in which his best friend was killed. The jury also was deadlocked on a second charge of vehicular homicide.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Bowden declared a mistrial, which left open the possibility of Fredrickson being tried again for vehicular homicide.

Deputy prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro said Monday she will not prosecute Fredrickson again, partly because the jury was leaning 10-2 in favor of acquittal. A unanimous decision is necessary for a court verdict.

"It’s the right decision for the prosecutor to make because there’s no evidence to convict him of criminal activity," defense lawyer Pete Mazzone said. "Although there’s circumstantial evidence to indicate some criminal activity may have occurred, there’s no evidence to link it to Mr. Fredrickson. I commend Ms. Cavagnaro for doing the right thing."

Fredrickson and his friend, Phillip Stone, 21, also of Monroe, had gone to a party in a remote part of Snohomish County north of Snohomish. Fredrickson admitted he had been drinking, but insisted he had only a few drinks before falling asleep at the party for up to three hours.

Just after midnight on Dec. 7, he and Stone got into his Subaru station wagon to return home. His car failed to negotiate a sharp curve on Woods Creek Road, went down an embankment and struck a tree.

Stone died from injuries suffered in the crash. Fredrickson walked away from the accident, but apparently suffered a bump on the head. He didn’t report the accident, and told police that he believed he had taken Stone home early that morning.

Mazzone suggested that the defendant temporarily lost memory as a result of the head injury.

He also argued that there was no evidence Fredrickson was driving drunk or negligently at the time of the crash.

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