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Man out after appealed homicide conviction faces new hit-and-run charge
Appeal update

Man out after appealed homicide conviction faces new hit-and-run charge


RACINE — A former Racine man whose 2015 vehicular homicide conviction was overturned by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals is now facing a felony hit-and-run charge, after he reportedly walked away from another crash he was involved in that injured a person.

Dartavian D. Watson, 23, of the 2700 block of 11th Place, Kenosha, is charged with a felony count of hit-and-run causing injury as a repeat offender.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Nov. 29, a Mount Pleasant officer saw a vehicle against a traffic pole at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Highway 31. The vehicle’s driver said her arms and legs hurt, and she had dust in her eyes due to the airbag deploying.

A crash witness said that a vehicle pulling into the Advanced Auto Parts parking lot, 5534 Washington Ave., which had front-end damage, was likely involved in the crash.

A male suspect was seen exiting the suspect vehicle’s driver’s side door, removing a jacket from the truck and walking to the passenger side of the vehicle. An officer gave the suspect’s description to the other officers as he waited with the crash victim.

Other officers arrived on scene and could not find the suspect. Ten minutes later, Watson arrived on scene and admitted to driving the suspect vehicle and being involved in the crash.

On Dec. 26, Watson pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is next set to appear in court on March 2 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., online records indicate.

Homicide conviction overturned

In September 2018, Watson was sentenced to time served after a 2015 felony homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle charge was overturned by the Court of Appeals.

The original charges stemmed from an October 2015 crash in which Watson was driving, failed to stop at the intersection of West Sixth Street and Mound Avenue and crashed into a building, according to a criminal complaint. The crash killed 25-year-old Racine resident Robert Johnson.

At the scene, Watson was read an informing-the-accused form that stated that if he were to refuse blood testing, his operating privileges would be revoked. He then consented to a blood draw and was later found to have marijuana in his system and a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent.

According to the Court of Appeals, because Watson was told that “refusing a chemical test would result in license revocation, a consequence to which Watson was not subject,” the blood draw was deemed coerced. The conviction was overturned and the results of his blood draw were suppressed.


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Alyssa Mauk covers breaking news and courts. She enjoys spending time with her family, video games, heavy metal music, watching YouTube videos, comic books and movies.

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