Jury deliberating in Paso Robles man’s trial over pedestrian death

March 27, 2024

Christopher Winters


A jury is deliberating in the hit-and-run trial of a Paso Robles man who allegedly fled the scene after running over a pedestrian whom another vehicle had already struck. [Tribune]

On July 3, 2021, shortly before 2 a.m., a caller reported a gray vehicle had crashed into a pedestrian near the intersection of Meadowlark Road and Deer Springs Drive. Shortly afterwards, the witness called back to report a second vehicle — a dark colored BMW — ran over the pedestrian. The witness reported both drivers fled the scene.

Emergency personnel arrived and pronounced the pedestrian, 22-year-old Steve Leon, dead at the scene.

Officers located the driver of the black BMW, Christopher Winters, now 35, and arrested him on a charge of hit-and-run resulting in death or injury. The BMW contained evidence of being involved in the collision, according to the Paso Robles Police Department.

Prosecutors charged Winters with a felony count of hit-and-run resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license. 

During this month’s trial, both the prosecution and defense agreed Winter’s vehicle ran over Leon the second time he was struck, and DNA evidence proves it. 

The prosecution alleges Leon was still alive and moaning after the first car struck him. Leon stopped moaning once Winter’s car ran over him, according to testimony from neighbors. 

Following the collision, Winters texted a friend, “I went back and everything is good. It was a deer already hit. Sleep good. I just have front end damage to replace.”

Prosecutors said he was lying to cover his tracks.

The defense argued the pedestrian was dead after first car ran over him and that testimony from neighbors was not reliable because they witnessed the crash from far away. 

Jurors began deliberations on Tuesday. The jury must consider whether Winters had reason to believe he ran over a person at the time of the crash.


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