John Lipe made his first court appearance

July 15, 2009 8:14:26 PM PDT
John Lipe spent a week on the run after this deadly hit and run on a dark Fresno County road.Investigators said Lipe's black BMW struck and killed a 39 year old bicyclist before the car plunged into a canal. Officers said Lipe ran from the scene and made no effort to turn himself in.

Axel Reyes, California Highway Patrol said "He had all the time in the world to do that. Obviously after we put it out asking him for questioning he failed to do that this is being seen as a hit and run."

Which is a felony, an anonymous tip led to Lipe's arrest, but his Attorney Paul Caprioglio claims his client tried to turn himself in before he was arrested.

Paul Caprioglio, Lipe's Defense Attorney, said "They called willing to surrender; police never took the time to call and ask him to surrender."

Officers said the night of the accident Lipe's wife called Police for help and claimed the couple had been carjacked at Golddigger's Nightclub. She later told officers the statement was untrue and admitted her husband was behind the wheel. Lipe has been arrested in the past.

Axel Reyes, CHP said "He's had prior DUI's also."

Paul Caprioglio, Lipe's Defense Attorney said "He had a prior driving under the influence that's been resolved. It is not connect to this case is not alcohol oriented or alcohol involved."

A search warrant shows that on July 1st officers found a can of red bull containing marijuana in a false compartment of the BMW. Caprioglio maintains his client was not under the influence.

Paul Caprioglio, Lipe's Defense Attorney said "This was clearly an accident. A regrettable accident nonetheless, and doesn't warrant a criminal prosecution."

But prosecutors disagree and have charged him with felony hit and run.

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