Superior man found guilty in fatal hit and runA Superior man was found guilty in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday of striking and killing a pedestrian walking across Broadway Street last August, then driving off.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
A Superior man was found guilty in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday of striking and killing a pedestrian walking across Broadway Street last August, then driving off.
Jeffery Swager, 48, was accused of one count felony hit and run resulting in death, stemming from the 2012 incident that left another Superior man, 61-year-old Eugene David Renko, dead.
Swager waived his right to a jury trial Monday. The court trial in front of Judge George Glonek took a day and a half. Glonek found Swager guilty following closing arguments Wednesday and ordered a pre-sentence investigation before the Sept. 19 sentencing date.
The class D felony carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment and a fine up to $100,000.
Because Swager has previous convictions for hit and run-involving injury and two counts of felony bail jumping out of Walworth County, up to six more years imprisonment can be added to the sentence.
According to the criminal complaint:
Renko was in the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection on Broadway Street at Hughitt Avenue, heading north at about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 17. Witnesses saw a westbound vehicle strike Renko, sending him up over the vehicle’s hood. The vehicle just tapped its brakes before continuing west on Broadway Street, according to a witness who was in the car behind it.
About two hours later, Renko died of his injuries.
Along with witness accounts, surveillance cameras at the Super America on the corner captured footage of the vehicle prior to the accident to give investigators more information about the car.
The vehicle was located Aug. 19 at a Duluth residence. Swager admitted to Superior Police Detective Kirk Hill that Swager struck Renko with the car. He told the detective the man must have just run out because he had good headlights and should have seen him.
“I just fled the crime scene,” Swager told Hill. He knew someone must have been injured, he told Hill, but he did not know the victim died.
Renko, a Cathedral High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, was a self-employed computer technician who left behind a daughter, mother, sister, two nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins.