Man guilty in deadly crash

The man accused of killing one woman and maiming another when he plowed his pickup into a bus shelter while under the influence of prescription drugs was found guilty Monday in District Court.

A Clark County jury convicted Steven Murray of killing 55-year-old Patricia Hoff and seriously injuring Porsche Hughes when he hit a bus shelter on Boulder Highway near Flamingo Road on July 7.

Hughes, a mother of two, lost both legs as a result of the crash.

Murray, 44, remained silent as the court clerk read the verdict. Hughes and Hoff’s daughter, Robin Wynkoop, began crying in the courtroom.

“We got him off the street,” said Hughes, 27, who attended the reading of the verdict in her wheelchair.

Hughes, who said she felt sick to her stomach before the verdict was announced, said she’s still trying to recover from the crash. Now that the trial is over, she’s focusing on relearning how to walk.

She also is scheduled to testify this week before the Legislature on an Assembly bill that would remove the $50,000 limit on payouts from the state’s Victims of Crime Program.

Hoff, originally from Ohio, moved to Las Vegas in 1993. Wynkoop said Monday that she misses her mother, even the times when Hoff would yell at her.

“I’d rather hear her yelling,” Wynkoop said through tears.

Murray’s trial garnered attention in part because of his driving history. He was convicted four times in Texas of driving while intoxicated during the 1990s.

Before the bus stop crash, his last two convictions for driving under the influence were in April and May of 1999.

Murray also had three minor traffic violations in Nevada and had only an instruction permit.

After the crash, Murray told police that he had taken Percocet, a pain reliever, and Valium the previous night. He had a valid prescription for the drugs and took them for an old back injury.

Murray, an electrician, did not testify during the trial.

The jury was not told about Murray’s prior DUI convictions during the trial because it would have been considered highly prejudicial information.

Under Nevada law, those convicted of vehicular homicide are sentenced to 25 years to life in prison if they have three or more previous DUI convictions.

The jury convicted Murray of driving under the influence causing a death and driving under the influence causing substantial bodily harm. It deliberated for about 21/2 hours.

District Judge Michelle Leavitt will address Murray’s prior convictions when he is sentenced May 21.

County prosecutor L.J. O’Neale said he was pleased with the verdict but stopped short of saying it was justice served.

“Justice would be giving Porsche back her legs, giving Mrs. Hoff back her life,” he said.

During the trial, witnesses told the jury that Murray was driving erratically before the crash. One witness, who was driving behind Murray, said Murray was swerving into and out of his lane.

Hughes, who testified Wednesday, said she saw Murray hit a curb, accelerate, then strike her and Hoff with the truck. Both women were waiting at the bus stop that morning.

Authorities said Murray was driving while impaired when he struck the bus shelter and failed several field sobriety tests afterward.

But on Friday, forensic toxicologist John Hiatt testified that Murray probably wasn’t impaired while driving. Hiatt, who testified on Murray’s behalf, reviewed police reports on the crash and Murray’s toxicology reports.

Hiatt said the levels of Valium and Percocet were within the “therapeutic range,” meaning they were within the proper dosages for Murray’s prescriptions.

In addition, he said, Murray probably would have built up a tolerance to the drugs because he had been taking them for at least several months.

Both drugs would have had little effect on Murray’s driving, Hiatt said.

“I think he would have been able to handle the combination of the two drugs,” he said.

Unlike with alcohol, there is no legal limit on the amount of prescription drugs a person can have in his or her system while driving. That’s because the drugs affect people differently, prosecutors said.

Deputy public defenders Darin Imlay and Stephen Immerman, Murray’s attorneys, contended that Murray struck the bus stop because he swerved to avoid another vehicle.

“We respect the jury’s decision,” Immerman said after the verdict.

Contact reporter David Kihara at or 702-380-1039.

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like