Man Suspected in Fatal Palm Springs Hit-and-Run to be Arraigned

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – A man accused in the hit-and-run death of a 39- year-old man in Palm Springs more than a year ago is set to be arraigned in late August.

Chad Steinmetz, 42, had a warrant issued for his arrest May 24, when he was also charged with one felony count of a hit-and-run causing death, according to court records.

Steinmetz was arrested at around 11 a.m. May 31 near Merle Drive in Palm Desert and booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, according to inmate records. He posted $75,000 bail and was released from jail the same day.

He’s set to be arraigned Aug. 24 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

“The Palm Springs Police Department would like to extend its sincere appreciation for the outstanding investigative work conducted by the Traffic Division,” police said in a statement. “Despite initially having only vehicle parts left at the scene of the crash, their efforts, combined with the support of the community, enabled the resolution of this case.”

The fatal hit-and-run occurred at about 6:40 a.m. on May 27, 2022, near East Palm Canyon and South Broadmoor drives. Jessie Fleury of San Jacinto was struck and left lying on a dirt shoulder of the roadway, according to the Palm Springs Police Department. Fleury was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said a red 2012-16 Porsche 911 Carrera struck Fleury and a shopping cart. The day of the crash, police asked for the public’s help to find the suspect vehicle, which had front-end damage.

According to a declaration in support of Steinmetz’s arrest filed by the PSPD, Steinmetz allegedly took his vehicle to a body shop the following morning to get it fixed and then drove past the location of the collision as officers continued investigating.

Steinmetz was allegedly at bars the night of the collision and left at around 2 a.m., shortly before the collision, police wrote. Based on his electronic records, Steinmetz was also allegedly following articles about the collision and the investigation.

On June 6, 2022, officers found a vehicle fitting the description, but the registered owner was not cooperating with investigators, according to police.

“The response from the community was remarkable, as several tips were provided that helped the investigators with the case,” Palm Springs police said in a statement. “Subsequently, the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was located at a collision repair center in Cathedral City, allowing the identification of the driver, (Steinmetz).”

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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