Zaon Collins indictment dismissed over absence of DUI charge – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Bishop Gorman High School basketball standout Zaon Collins was indicted on a reckless driving charge Thursday in connection with a crash that left another man dead, but a grand jury declined to indict the 19-year-old on a DUI charge.

A prosecutor then dismissed the reckless driving indictment during a brief video conference court hearing.

But that does not mean Collins, who is free on electronic monitoring, was cleared of either charge.

Prosecutor Thomas Moskal told a judge that he planned to continue with a preliminary hearing on the charges scheduled for next week.

Collins still faces one count of reckless driving and one count of driving under the influence causing death in connection with the Dec. 30 crash that killed 52-year-old Eric Echevarria, an Army and National Guard veteran who worked as a custodian at a local elementary school. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors have said that a blood test showed Collins had an amount of THC in his system at the time of the crash that was above the legal limit for drivers in Nevada. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient found in marijuana.

The decision to proceed with the DUI charge through a preliminary hearing, despite a grand jury rejecting the count, is “extremely unusual,” said defense attorney Chris Rasmussen, who regularly handles DUI cases but is not involved in the Collins case.

“If the grand jury doesn’t indict a case, the facts are a farce, there’s no case,” he said. “The standard is so low to get an indictment. If a prosecutor is unable to return an indictment or a true bill against a defendant in front of a grand jury, it signals that the case is extremely weak and shouldn’t proceed.”

Sister ‘hoping and praying’

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