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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man who said he was drugged, can’t remember collision, pleads guilty to downtown hit-and-run

UPDATED: Mon., June 24, 2019, 7:46 p.m.

Gabriel Hein appeared in court in December 2018 in connection to a hit and run that left a pedestrian with two broken legs and a broken pelvis. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)
Gabriel Hein appeared in court in December 2018 in connection to a hit and run that left a pedestrian with two broken legs and a broken pelvis. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

A man who said he was drugged and doesn’t remember hitting a man in downtown Spokane late last year pleaded guilty last week to felony hit-and-run.

Gabriel K. Hein, 29, on Wednesday accepted a plea deal from prosectuors, who agreed to drop a charge of vehicular assault.

Hein’s attorney, Jeff Leslie, said there were evidence issues with the state’s case on the assault charge. He declined to elaborate and reierated that Hein has no criminal history.

Hein was accused of hitting a man at the intersection of Third Avenue and Wall Street at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 29 and fleeing the scene. The victim, identified as then-58-year-old David Scalla by Providence Sacred Medical Center staff, suffered a broken pelvis, two broken legs, a lacerated nose, a broken elbow and cuts on his knuckles, court documents say.

After checking surveillance video, police tracked Hein’s vehicle to Fourth Avenue and Chestnut Street in Browne’s Addition. The car had damage to its windshield, including a large hole opening up to the interior of the vehicle, with blood on the steering wheel assembly.

When interviewed by police, Hein reportedly said he was drinking at a friends house, and when he got home, got into an argument with his girlfriend, causing him to punch his windshield.

When questioned how his car was videotaped on Second Avenue with the damage already on the windshield, he declined further comment.

In court the following Monday, he told Superior Court Judge Michael Price he believed he was drugged that night.

“I can’t say I was fully responsive,” he said. “There were other factors at play.”

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