Man charged with murder in pedestrian’s death |

Man charged with murder in pedestrian’s death

Adam Jensen

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Police arrested a man on suspicion of murder Thursday afternoon for allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine in September.

Larry Lee Halverson, 60, was arrested between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the 3300 block of Sandy Way in connection with the death of 51-year-old South Shore resident Patrick Purnell, said Lt. David Stevenson.

Purnell was crossing Ski Run Boulevard near U.S. Highway 50 about 7:50 p.m. on Sept. 4 when he was struck by a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Halverson, Stevenson said.

The impact caused Purnell to land on the hood of the vehicle and then fall to the road, Stevenson said.

Purnell was taken to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he died of his injuries.

Halverson was arrested immediately following the collision, but was released without being charged with a crime while the investigation was completed, said El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe.

On Thursday, an El Dorado County Criminal Grand Jury returned an indictment against Halverson, charging him with numerous crimes in connection with crash, including murder, according to a Friday statement from the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Priscaro presented the matter to the grand jury over a period of four days. Halverson was arrested within hours of the indictment, Uthe said.

Halverson allegedly left the scene of the collision before returning a short time later. Investigators also believe he was under the combined influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of the incident.

Halverson’s driver’s license was both revoked and suspended for prior drunken driving convictions when he struck Purnell, according to prosecutors. He has previous driving under the influence convictions, starting in 1990 in Santa Clara County and running through 2008 in Nevada, according Friday’s statement.

Halverson is being held at the El Dorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe without bail.

He does not have an attorney. Halverson will likely be appointed an attorney when he is arraigned Monday in El Dorado County Superior Court in South Lake Tahoe, Uthe said.

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