Teen charged over Andrew Mallard’s hit-and-run death in Los Angeles

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Teen charged over Andrew Mallard’s hit-and-run death in Los Angeles

Updated

April 24, 2019 18:53:27

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in the US in relation to the hit-and-run death of Perth man Andrew Mallard, who spent 12 years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of murder.

Key points:

  • Andrew Mallard was run over on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood
  • He had started a new life and was visiting his fiance at the time
  • Mr Mallard’s family were informed by DFAT of the arrest

Mr Mallard died after being stuck by a moving vehicle while crossing a road in Los Angeles last week.

He was hit by a car on the iconic Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood after leaving a bar late on Thursday night and could not be revived.

Mr Mallard had been visiting his fiancee during a trip from his new home in Britain, where he moved after being exonerated in 2006.

The LA Police Department had offered a $US25,000 ($35,000) reward for information into the incident.

US media outlet KTLA5 reported Kristopher Ryan Smith was charged with a felony hit-and-run after turning himself into police on Tuesday.

According to the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Mr Smith was released on $US50,000 bail the evening of his arrest.

He is due to appear in the Los Angeles Municipal Court Traffic Division on the May 14.

Mr Mallard’s family confirmed they were informed of the arrest by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mallard wrongfully imprisoned for murder

Mr Mallard was convicted of the brutal murder of Perth wife and mother Pamela Lawrence in 1995 and was sentenced to 20 years.

Ms Lawrence was bludgeoned to the head in broad daylight on the afternoon of Monday May 23, 1994, at her jewellery shop Flora Metallica in the upmarket Perth suburb of Mosman Park.

She died hours later in hospital.

Mr Mallard was arrested for murder after several interviews with police, where he speculated how Ms Lawrence may have been killed and drew a picture of a wrench which police said he used to kill her.

Mr Mallard said he was fed information by police to repeat back to them, but police treated it as a confession and he was sentenced to 20 years’ jail.

He served 12 years in jail until the combined efforts of a journalist, a politician and a team of high-profile, pro bono lawyers finally saw him exonerated.

Police later admitted Mr Mallard wasn’t responsible for the crime after a cold case review of Ms Lawrence’s murder found shavings of blue paint recovered from her head linked the crime to murderer Simon Rochford.

Living in Perth had become ‘untenable’

After receiving a record $3.25 million compensation payout from the West Australian government, Mr Mallard graduated from university with a degree in fine art and travelled to London to start a masters.

He told the ABC’s Australian Story that living in Perth had become “untenable”, as members of the public still treated him as if he was a murderer.

Mr Mallard was still based in the UK and frequently travelled to the US, where his fiancee lived, prior to his death.

A Corruption and Crime Commission inquiry was held into the alleged misconduct by police officers in the case, but the officers involved resigned after a police inquiry began, avoiding the disciplinary process.

Topics:

death,

community-and-society,

law-crime-and-justice,

wa,

perth-6000,

united-states

First posted

April 24, 2019 18:20:28

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