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Sun, June 16

DPS: Suspect never slowed down before deadly crash

Linda Chevalier

Linda Chevalier

KINGMAN - Fleeing from law enforcement, Robert James Dodd was driving "as fast as he could go" on the afternoon of April 22, when the Kingman man allegedly ran a stop sign at Packard Avenue and Bond Street and crashed into a car driven by Linda Chevalier.

According to an Arizona Department of Public Safety report, Dodd was driving in the opposing lane at the time of the fatal collision. He never hit the brakes or made an attempt to avoid Chevalier's 2000 Nissan Altima, according to an eyewitness and DPS accident scene investigators.

Chevalier would die a few hours later at Kingman Regional Medical Center from the injuries the 66-year-old woman suffered in the crash, which ended the latest law enforcement pursuit in which Dodd has been involved - which allegedly is at least five.

According to DPS, Chevalier's fate was sealed when Dodd, driving a 2011 Nissan Versa, fled from a DPS detective in the area of Bull Mountain and Stockton Hill roads.

Wanted by the Arizona Department of Corrections for absconding from parole and several other crimes - including fleeing from law enforcement officers in other incidents - Dodd, 42, drove with no regard for other motorists or his passenger, 25-year-old Bridget Bartlett of Golden Valley.

According to the DPS, Dodd drove into oncoming traffic at 60 mph throughout the chase.

Kingman Police officers and Mohave County Sheriff's deputies responded while DPS tried unsuccessfully to get a helicopter in the air.

Dodd turned onto Butler Avenue and then onto Lomita Street before he turned west on Packard Avenue, according to the DPS officer's communications with dispatchers.

Seconds later, the crash occurred and the officer immediately requested an ambulance.

"Need medical ... request medical ASAP," said the officer.

Witness Glen Cappello, who lives on Bond Street, said he was sitting on his front patio when he saw a black MCSO patrol vehicle and the DPS vehicle drive southbound on Bond Street with lights and sirens activated. About 20 minutes later, Cappello said he saw the Versa "being driven just as fast as he could go," with police vehicles in pursuit between 200 and 300 feet behind.

Cappello said Dodd blew through the stop sign before the collision. He was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Dodd and Bartlett were taken to a Phoenix hospital. Mortally injured, Chevalier was taken to KRMC. Dodd refused to speak to officers at the scene, but his passenger told a DPS detective that Dodd was indeed fleeing from police, that the police were running with lights and sirens, and that Dodd was driving at a high rate of speed when he failed to stop and stuck Chevalier.

Dodd has a history of running from law enforcement and has served time in prison for doing so in the past. He faces such a charge in two of four cases against him - but not in this case.

Dodd was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly causing Chevalier's death, along with three counts of criminal damage, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In another case he faces charges of unlawful flight, kidnapping, aggravated assault, five counts of misconduct involving weapons, disorderly conduct with a weapon and endangerment.

In this case, Dodd is accused of holding a gun to the head of a man who was driving a car he was a passenger in when law enforcement attempted to make a traffic stop last March.

In yet another case, this one that occurred several days before Chevalier was killed, Dodd was charged with unlawful flight, three counts of criminal damage and two counts of aggravated assault. Finally, his fourth case alleges a single charge of car theft. In all, Dodd faces more than two dozen felony charges.

If convicted on any of them, he faces an enhanced sentence if prosecutors prove he committed those crimes after he violated the terms of his parole.

Dodd was sentenced to prison in 2006 for resisting arrest - and two counts of unlawful flight.

Judge Rick Williams at a hearing in October set a bond of $1 million.

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