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Driver in deadly Las Cruces hit-and-run accident arrested
By: Jesse Martinez
LAS CRUCES, N.M. Police arrested a man accused of killing a 57-year-old man in a deadly hit-and-run accident.
As KFOX14 previously reported, Terence Patrick Havey was found several feet from the scene of the accident near the 1800 block of Valley Drive on Aug. 14. Police at the scene said the driver did not stop and dragged the bicycle while continuing down Valley Drive.
Havey was taken to the hospital, where he later died, police said.
On Thursday, Jeffrey Nieto, 28, was charged with one count each of careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident that caused great bodily harm or death, and tampering with evidence.
On Sept. 5, police received a tip through Crime Stoppers that tied Nieto to the deadly accident. Later that day, Nieto was seen driving a red 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and police conducted a traffic stop.
Police said officers noticed damage to Nieto's vehicle that was consistent with striking an object, and they also noticed signs of repairs made to the pickup.
Through their investigation, police discovered that at the time of the accident, Nieto was reaching for a cellphone. He later stopped on Main Street to remove the bicycle from underneath the pickup, police said.
Nieto tried to repair the damage done to the pickup, but was unsuccessful, police said.
Nieto was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bail set at $15,000 cash only.
Police said Nieto was previously convicted for a 2005 crash that killed a woman.
Court records show that Nieto was arrested on Sept. 29, 2005, after a rollover crash on Robert Larson Boulevard west of Las Cruces.
Erica Chavarria, who was Nieto's passenger, died a few days later as a result of her injuries, police said.
Nieto pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and causing great bodily injury by vehicle, police said. He served his sentence at the New Mexico Department of Corrections.