04/12/2001

Judge orders trial for man accused of hit-and-run death of CHP officer
[Vista, CA]

April 11, 2001
(VISTA, Calif.) - A Colorado man must stand trial for the death of a California Highway Patrol officer who was struck and killed in October as he crossed a highway.

Christopher Merrick, 20, allegedly ran Sean Nava down after a night hitting several bars in Tijuana, and then sped away from the scene. At a preliminary hearing, Judge Richard G. Cline heard testimony from witnesses who included a friend who was with Merrick and a woman who said that he tailgated her at high speed for several miles.

Merrick could face 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted of second-degree murder. He is also charged with manslaughter, vehicular homicide and drunken driving. Cline set the trial for October

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