Man gets 12 years for fleeing scene of accident that killed bicyclist

A Johnson County judge on Tuesday sentenced an Indianapolis man who fled the scene of an accident that killed a Franklin bicyclist to nine years in prison and three years on probation.

Johnson County Superior Court 3 Judge Lance Hamner sentenced Derrick L. Scott, 33, during a virtual hearing Tuesday. Scott got 339 days of jail credit, and may be able to participate in the Recovery While Incarcerated Program, designed to provide intensive treatment and rehabilitation services to inmates who have a substance abuse addiction, according to a Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office news release.

Scott was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death and operating a motor vehicle while being a habitual traffic violator causing death, both felonies.

About 10:30 p.m. March 7, Greenwood police were dispatched to the 2800 block of S. Emerson Ave., where a pedestrian had been struck by a car. The caller found a man on the side of the rural road, south of Pushville Road, after Scott went to their house a mile away and told them he thought he had hit someone on Emerson Avenue, according to a Greenwood Police Department report.

A woman who lived at the house drove to the scene of the accident, where she found 29-year-old Alec Guyette, of Franklin, dead, and called 911.

Scott and Guyette were both southbound on Emerson when Scott struck Guyette’s bicycle from behind, according to the accident report. Guyette was thrown 71 feet from the point of impact, the accident report said.

When police arrived, Scott was still at the caller’s house, but fled when he realized what had happened and that police were on their way, the police report said.

Police tracked down the 1996 Cadillac DeVille Scott was driving, which had right front corner damage and significant passenger side windshield damage. The car’s lights were defective, according to the accident report.

Scott had fled to his apartment on the southside of Indianapolis, but refused to answer the door when police arrived, at one point turning up the volume on his TV to drown out their commands, the police report said.

Police secured a search warrant and called in the SWAT team, which entered Scott’s apartment and arrested him. He would not answer any questions about what happened, according to the report.

At his Tuesday court hearing, Scott testified and apologized to Guyette’s family.

The defense presented letters from Scott’s family and friends about his caring nature and dedication to his family and work, according to the prosecutor’s office news release.

Prosecutor Joe Villanueva outlined how Scott attempted to evade responsibility at every turn the evening of the crash, and highlighted Scott’s history of drunk driving and opportunities at substance abuse treatment, the news release said.

Guyette’s mother gave an emotional testimony about how her family lost her son forever, while Scott’s family will only be without him for a short time. Both she and Villanueva asked Hamner to give Scott the maximum jail sentence allowed under the terms of his plea agreement, which was set at 9 years, according to the news release.

Near the end of the hearing, Guyette’s mother told Villanueva instead of receiving restitution for expenses she was entitled to — expenses Scott had already agreed to pay — to have Hamner order that amount be paid to Scott’s children as part of his outstanding child support obligations, the news release said.

“I’ve handled my fair share of these kinds of cases, and to see someone who had a loved one taken from them exhibit that level of grace and compassion toward the person who caused it is truly inspiring,” Villanueva said in the news release.