Manslaughter charge filed against Utah man who police say ran over roommate

Manslaughter charge filed against Utah man who police say ran over roommate

(Mark Wetzel, KSL TV)

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A man who allegedly hit his roommate with his car, but then claimed he watched her stand up before he drove away, has been charged with manslaughter.

Andres Mendoza, 24, of West Valley City, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with the second-degree felony; and leaving the scene of an accident, a third-degree felony.

On Dec. 16, about 2 a.m., Mendoza and Alejandra Morales-Molina, 24, got into a fight with their roommate, 36-year-old Tequila Garcia, at 2855 W. 3785 South. Mendoza later told police that "he was upset about the argument with Ms. Garcia and just wanted to leave," according to charging documents.

Mendoza and Morales-Molina then got into their cars and started to leave.

"He started reversing and kicked the clutch out, and Ms. Garcia 'was just there,'" he told investigators, the charges state.

Mendoza said he felt the impact, "but then she stood up," the charges state. "He thought that she would be even angrier with him for hitting her so he left the scene," according to charging documents.

Another roommate told police that about 10 to 15 minutes after Mendoza left the house, he looked outside and saw Garcia in the gutter, the charges state.

"He ran over me," Garcia told the roommate, charging documents state.

By the time a West Valley officer arrived at the scene, Garcia was unresponsive, the charges state. She was declared dead a short time later.

Investigators determined that Garcia was standing behind Mendoza's vehicle when she was hit, was pulled under and then dragged into the street, the charges state. Because of the Volkswagen GTI's low profile, police also determined that the driver "would have had to give the vehicle more gas and power" to run over Garcia, according to charging documents.

Bail for Mendoza was set at $500,000.

Molina-Morales, who was originally arrested, was not charged as of Wednesday.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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