INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis man has been charged with murder in the hit-and-run death of a woman.
According to court documents, Stephen Watkins was charged Thursday with the alleged murder of Tonya Lynn Meyer.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the area of West Southport Road and Tibbs Avenue around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 after a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian.
When officers arrived to the scene, they found Meyer in critical condition. Meyer was transported to a nearby hospital and she later died from her injuries.
Court documents show several people called to report the crash and two witnesses “followed the suspect vehicle as it fled the scene without stopping to render aid to the victim.”
Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a maroon minivan, adding that the driver was a larger man with shaggy hair. Multiple witnesses said they saw the driver speed off westbound on Southport Road and followed the driver to the 7200 block of Lake Road.
Detectives went to the area and located Watkins inside a residence. Watkins told officers the damaged maroon minivan outside the residence was in fact his and he was taken in for questioning and later arrested.
According to court documents, Watkins was recorded during a jail call saying he was “drunk” at the time of the crash, adding that Meyer was in the minivan with him before asking to be let out because she said he was “driving bad.” According to the recording, Watkins let Meyer out of the car and when he “took off, she was in the road” and he “didn’t see her” and hit her.
Investigators say data indicates Watkins was going 42 mph at the time of the crash.
Watkins is also facing a charge of knowingly inflicting injury that created a substantial risk of death and knowingly failing to stop the vehicle at the scene of an accident. Online court records show a jury trial has been scheduled for March 23.