A suspect accused of causing a fatal crash in North Las Vegas last month while driving under the influence was released from jail more than two weeks ago without restrictions because of delays in getting blood tests completed in the case, authorities said.
Anthony Peniston, 46, of North Las Vegas, was originally arrested on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving causing death in a Nov. 14 crash that killed Arthur B. Hobbs, 73, of North Las Vegas. Court records show he was ordered released from jail by a North Las Vegas justice of the peace on Nov. 21 after the filing of formal charges was delayed.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson confirmed Monday that his release resulted from a delay in test results on Peniston’s blood to determine whether alcohol or drugs were present.
“We asked for a rush on the blood test but it did not get done in time,” Wolfson said.
Wolfson said the high number of driving under the influence cases in the Las Vegas Valley likely contributed to the delay in getting the tests completed.
Ross Goodman, defense attorney for Peniston, explained his client’s release by saying authorities “have not filed a criminal complaint” in the case.
According to police reports, Peniston was arrested after a two-vehicle crash at Aliante Parkway and Broadwing Drive. North Las Vegas police said Peniston was driving a 2007 Mercedes north on Aliante, approaching Broadwing, at 4:30 a.m. when he failed to stop at a stop sign. Peniston’s vehicle collided with another vehicle driven by Hobbs. Hobbs died at the scene.
An arrest report for Peniston alleges that Peniston was driving nearly 50 mph over the speed limit.
“(Giving him) all of the benefit showed speed calculations in excess of 80 miles per hour in the clearly posted 35 mile per hour zone, which showed a clear disregard for the safety of persons or property,” an officer wrote in the report.
A witness to the crash told police Peniston’s vehicle was traveling at “freeway-like” speeds.
An officer alleged in the report that Peniston smelled of alcohol. Blood draws were taken after his arrest, the report states.
Peniston was originally booked at the Las Vegas Detention Center. North Las Vegas Justice Court records show bail was set at $500,000 combined for the driving under the influence and reckless driving charges during a court appearance on Nov. 17.
However, on Nov. 21 court records indicate “no complaint filed. … Defendant released.” The order noted that prosecutors “passed for filing of criminal complaint.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 13.
Contact Glenn Puit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.