LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A former Inglewood High School basketball star confessed to being the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed an Australian man who spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Kristopher Smith, 19, had his attorney by his side as he admitted to CBS2’s Dave Lopez that he was the driver who had struck and killed Andrew Mallard last week in Hollywood.
Surveillance video shows Mallard crossing Sunset Boulevard at about 1:30 a.m. last Thursday, outside of a crosswalk and without a light, just before he was fatally struck.
Mallard, who was from Australia, was wrongly convicted of murder in his home country and spent 12 years in prison for the crime. His conviction was overturned in 2006.
Smith said he felt he had to do something when he saw the story on the news.
“I panicked. I just went home to my mom, I just panicked,” Smith said.
Smith’s attorney says his client had been out to dinner with friends that night, but had not been drinking.
Smith has since turned himself into the LAPD Hollywood Station, where he was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. He was released a few hours later after posting $50,000 bail, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on May 14.