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Day 2 in Richardson’s Preliminary Hearing

SANTA BARBARA — The man charged with second degree murder in the car surfing accident was in court Friday for the second day of the preliminary hearing. Lanie Tyrone Richardson was once called a Good Samaritan but walked into Judge Jean Dandona’s courtroom in a red jail jumpsuit, surrounded by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies. Richardson’s Public Defender Rafael Amezaga does not believe the case merits prosecution because he said in a previous court hearing, the incident is a tragic accident. “It’s up to the judge and that’s why we’re having a preliminary hearing so the judge can determine if there’s sufficient evidence to answer,” said Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen. On the stand, the coroner’s detective detailed the injuries Allison Meadows sustained on the early morning of June 6. Detective Jose Alvarez said the 26-year-old had lacerations, road rash and fractures to her skull. The cause of death was “blunt force cerebral cranial trauma” which are injuries consistent with falling off a speeding vehicle, he said. There are four people involved in the accident. Meadows was killed, Lindsey Keebler was injured, Connor Clowers was a passenger in the SUV and the defendant was the driver. During the testimony, it was revealed that the four met at Whiskey Richards in downtown Santa Barbara and surveillance video indicates they left together. California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Miller testified that both Richardson and Clowers gave him the same story; they left a party in Summerland and came across a woman in the middle of the road, waving her arms and pointing to her friend on the road, saying they were hit by a car. Officer Miller was told the two put the women in the Toyota 4runner and drove them to Cottage Hospital. They said they had never met them before. While on the stand, he said, “The physical evidence at the scene was inconsistent with someone being struck by a vehicle.”The investigation showed that the party they said they were driving home from, never happened. After a half day of testimony, Richardson was escorted out of the courtroom and headed back to the county jail where he’s been since the middle of June. The preliminary hearing will continue on Tuesday. More law enforcement officers will take the stand and there is a chance Richardson’s girlfriend will also testify. Tyra Cervantes Cobbs is the registered owner of the Toyota 4runner in the case.

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