Beloit man charged with homicide by intoxicated driving, 6th OWI offense

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011
— Derrick Richardson was feeling around for a dropped cigarette when he heard a loud "boom."

He knew he hadn't hit a car.

"Oh my God, I didn't," Richardson said, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Rock County Court.

Richardson, 42, of 1433 Copeland Ave., Beloit, on Monday was charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and sixth-offense intoxicated driving. He is accused of hitting and killing Anthony M. Sears, 79, of 3104 Village Court, No. 7, Janesville, at 9:22 a.m. Saturday on Mount Zion Avenue near Excalibur Drive on Janesville's east side.

Richardson also is charged with causing death while operating a motor vehicle after revocation and hit and run resulting in death. He is being held in the Rock County Jail on a $40,000 cash bond.

Sears on Saturday was crossing the street from the BP gas station, 1804 E. Milwaukee St., toward the Vineyard Liquor Store, 3439 Mount Zion Avenue, according to police records.

Officers found Richardson hiding in the bedroom of an apartment in the 1300 block of Laramie Lane, according to the complaint. They could smell alcohol as soon as they entered the room, according to the complaint.

"What are you gonna do with my Durango?" he said as officers led him out of the building, according to the complaint.

Richardson told police he had been drinking from 4 p.m. Friday until 1 a.m. Saturday at a friend's house in Beloit. He got to the Laramie Lane apartment at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, he said.

Richardson left the apartment at 8:30 a.m. He was driving south on Wright Road, but turned around to get some things he forgot. While he was turning from Milwaukee Street onto Mount Zion Avenue, he dropped a cigarette, according to the complaint.

A witness heard the sound of a crash and looked up to see a dark green sport utility vehicle swerve into the eastbound lane and then back into the correct lane, according to the complaint.

Sears was breathing but not talking when officers arrived on scene, according to the complaint. He died at 10:34 a.m. Saturday at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville.

Richardson is scheduled to appear in court Monday. If convicted, he faces 57 years in prison and $220,000 in fines.

Last updated: 6:42 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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