CALDWELL — A jury found a Nampa man not guilty Tuesday of leaving the scene of an accident that occurred in January.
The 12-member jury found Roger Faull, 50, not guilty of leaving the scene of an accident after he ran over his neighbor, Benjamin Felty, on Jan. 15.
The jurors listened to Faull’s testimony Tuesday in 3rd District Court in Caldwell, and later reached a verdict.
“It’s been a long haul,” Faull’s Defense Attorney Jon Cox said. “Roger’s happy and gets to move on.”
On Tuesday, the third and final day of the jury trial, Faull testified that he did not see Felty when he put his truck in drive after he unstuck from the snow. Faull said he had assumed Felty was in his truck.
Faull said he did not stop and get out of the truck at any point after his truck became unstuck. He said he drove home and went to bed a few minutes later.
Last week, Jonica Felty testified that after Faull ran over her husband, Benjamin Felty, Faull got out of his truck, looked at her as she yelled to call 911 and that he had ran over her husband. She said he stared at her, returned to his vehicle, drove to his house and went inside.
During her testimony last week, she said she did not think Faull ran over her husband on purpose.
When Faull’s defense attorney, Cox, asked him if he knew he ran over Felty, Faull shook his head and fell silent for a moment.
“I would’ve done anything. Of course I would’ve helped,” he said. “I didn’t know I ran over him.”
Whether Faull knew or had reason to know he may have ran over Felty was the main question the jury had to answer, and according to Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Justin Paskett the case “comes down to that one issue.”
The jury found that Faull did not know and did not have reason to know he ran over Felty in January.
Faull said his truck became stuck in the snow after he came home from the grocery store around dusk. Because it was freezing outside and getting dark, Faull said he left his truck there and would worry about it the next day.
When Faull noticed headlights stopped near his truck on the side of the road around 10 p.m., he and his son went to investigate. He said that’s when Felty insisted on helping him get out of the snow.
Felty assisted Faull in getting his truck out of the snow near Faull’s home by attaching a yellow tow strap to the axle of Faull’s truck and the hitch of his own truck, Felty said during his testimony last week. When he tried to remove Faull’s truck from the snow the tow strap broke. Felty continued driving and returned back to the area Faull’s car was. Upon his return his truck became stuck, too, he said.
Felty’s wife, Jonica, arrived to help get the trucks unstuck. According to testimonies from Felty and his wife, Faull had a chain and it was used to remove Faull’s truck from the snow after it was hooked to the hitch of Jonica’s Jeep Commander.
When Faull’s truck became unstuck, Felty said he realized the tow strap was still on Faull’s vehicle and went to remove it because it could hurt the vehicle if Faull drove over it.
Felty bent underneath Faull’s vehicle to remove the strap. In court last week, he said “and the next thing I remember is his pickup rolling over the top of me.”
Upon arriving back at his house after the incident, Faull said he did see police lights out on the road through his window. He said after seeing the lights his initial thought was that he hoped Felty wasn’t getting a DUI. Felty testified last week to drinking some Bud Lights that night before helping Faull.
Felty sustained multiple injuries to his chest because of the incident, he said in his testimony. His injuries included 21 broken ribs, a ruptured diaphragm and a ruptured liver, according to testimony from Dr. Parker Fillmore at Saint Alphonsus last week.
Cox mentioned during closing statements that the Feltys are filing a civil case against Faull, but that could not be confirmed on the Idaho Repository as of Tuesday night.