HOLMBERG: No special treatment for hit-and-run-suspect?

Posted at 11:27 PM, Aug 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-09 07:43:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Why in the world was Elias Webb still free two days after being indicted for the hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of 24-year-old bicyclist Lanie Kruszewski on River Road?

Webb, 30, is expected to turn himself in today (Wednesday) – two days after a Richmond grand jury indicted him for felony hit and run and a full week after walking into police headquarters with his lawyer and a brief statement admitting he was the driver of the SUV allegedly involved in the fatal late-night collision July 29.

His father is a lawyer specializing in traffic defenses. So is his father’s partner, former Henrico prosecutor Buddy Parcell, who has taken an interest in the case, I’m told.

You have to wonder – and many have – if this has been some poor guy without any connections, would he have been free this long?

I believe the same thing would’ve happened.

Grand juries issue numerous indictments for a variety of things every first Monday of the month. Stone-cold killers are tracked down and arrested ASAP. But non-violent offenders are typically given a few days or longer to turn themselves in.

Case in point, fisherman Gerald Holliday was killed 10 years ago when his boat was hit by another on the James River that didn’t stop. The suspect in the case, Chris Holloway,  was eventually indicted by a grand jury. He was allowed to turn himself in a full week after he was indicted.

You might have also wondered why police didn’t arrest Webb the minute he handed over his statement saying he was the driver and he felt remorse – although his statement also indicated he believed it was a deer he hit.

An arrest like that would open a door to a preliminary hearing. This way prosecutors don’t have to reveal -  yet - what crash-scene investigators found, what they’ve learned by interviewing witnesses at or near the crash scene and what they’ve found out about Webb’s activities that night.

As a source close to the case said, this is strategy, not special treatment.

This will likely become apparent Wednesday. That’s my take, please post yours on this site.