An Iowa man who struck and injured a pedestrian with his truck in downtown Hot Springs in 2021 was sentenced to six years in prison Friday after a two-day jury trial in Garland County Circuit Court.
The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding Ken Alan Shino, 56, of Des Moines, Iowa, guilty of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death, and deliberated for another hour before recommending the maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Deputy Prosecutor Brock Price told The Sentinel-Record on Friday.
Shino, who listed a Pleasant Hill, Iowa, address at the time, turned himself in to Hot Springs police on Dec. 7, 2021, after a warrant was issued for his arrest following an investigation into the Feb. 14, 2021, incident. He was released later that same day on a $10,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charge on April 18, 2022.
On June 9, 2022, Shino's attorney filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the victim "was intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .30 and a presumptive positive test for cannabinoids upon drug testing performed at the hospital." The motion also noted another vehicle was possibly the one that hit the victim based on one of the 911 calls.
The motion was denied at a hearing on Dec. 12, 2022, and the case was set for trial on March 13. It was continued several times until finally being set for trial Thursday.
Price said the victim being intoxicated "came up" during the course of the trial, but "not much as (the victim) was not on trial so it was largely irrelevant."
The other vehicle mentioned was the "first vehicle to come through after the victim was struck and had to swerve to avoid running him over," Price said, noting the driver of that vehicle then backed up to shield the victim from traffic and waited for the police to arrive.
Shino never made any statement to police after his arrest and did not testify at trial, Price said, noting his defense was basically that "while it's his truck in the video and he was driving, he did not hit the victim, but the video made it clear he did."
According to the probable cause affidavit, on Feb. 14, 2021, police officers responded to the 200 block of Central Avenue regarding a pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle.
Officers found a male victim lying in the northbound lanes of Central just south of Fountain Street. The man was suffering from "serious head injuries" and was transported by a LifeNet ambulance to a local hospital for emergency treatment.
Video was obtained from cameras in the downtown area that captured the incident. The video showed two white males leaving a business in the 700 block of Central, and getting into a red Dodge Ram 1500 truck.
The truck then traveled north on Central toward the victim, who was walking in the outside northbound lane of Central. The truck struck the victim, knocking him to the roadway. The two occupants of the truck then left the area "making no effort to stop or render aid" to the victim, the affidavit said.
On March 19, 2021, a truck matching the description of the one shown in the video was located in a public parking lot across from the business in the 700 block of Central. The truck, a red 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, was examined and photographed and it was noted it had visible damage and recent repairs consistent with a hit-and-run crash.
The owner of the truck was later identified as Shino and detectives compared his photo to the man seen driving the truck in the video and confirmed Shino's physical appearance matched. A warrant for his arrest was issued on Oct. 5, 2021.
Asked about the victim's condition now, Price said, "He's good; he had skull and facial fractures, intracranial hemorrhaging, and some contusions and abrasions, but he healed up. He says he still has some lingering pain and back spasms, though."
The victim's mother testified during the guilt phase about her son's injuries because "we had to prove injury for guilt," Price said, so the family didn't need to testify during the sentencing phase.