An Alabama man was arrested and charged with manslaughter after his wife was fatally hit by a motorist while walking home drunk.
Jason Todd, 42, allegedly refused to let his wife, Tanya Anderson, get behind the wheel of her car while under the influence.
According to Alabama Local News, Todd and Anderson had been at Friends Steakhouse in Clanton, Alabama, where Todd’s band was playing their final set back in summer 2018.
Anderson had gotten drunk, demanding to drive herself home but Todd refused, telling her that he’d drive her home himself after he paid his tab.
Anderson reportedly refused and threatened to leave, at which point Todd told her to “walk home,” believing that she wouldn’t.
Anderson was tragically hit by a vehicle after her husband prevented her from drunk-driving.
According to court records and police reports, Anderson began walking home, although she did not make it very far before being fatally struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Authorities immediately accused Todd of causing Anderson’s death by allowing her to walk home while intoxicated.
“I loved my wife,” Todd told police. “Still do, and always will.”
Alabama police insisted that he had thrown Anderson’s car keys out onto the road following their argument at the steakhouse, using the alleged incident as evidence for a manslaughter charge.
Todd has now filed a lawsuit against Officer David Hicks from the Clanton Police Department over the handling of the investigation into his wife’s death.
He has also filed a lawsuit against the restaurant for continuously serving his wife alcohol after she was visibly intoxicated, as well as the driver, Carey Roger Glenn, who fatally hit Anderson.
According to Alabama Local News, Glenn, who is blind in one eye, came into the restaurant the day after the hit-and-run, telling people he thought he hit a deer the night before.
Alabama police initially determined that Glenn, 66, had hit a deer, and did not take any samples from his car.
It wasn’t until months after the accident that the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences confirmed that Anderson’s blood and hair were on Glenn’s car.
In Todd’s lawsuit, it states that surveillance footage from the steakhouse parking lot shows both him and Anderson searching for an item in the car.
Todd claims that at no point did he throw his wife’s keys anywhere on the ground, forcing her to walk home alone.
Anderson’s keys were later found a distance away from the restaurant where Todd says he last saw his wife alive.
Todd’s suit also says investigators at the Clanton Police Department “continuously berated and screamed” at him, “trying to guilt him into confessing to something he didn’t do.” while interrogating him.
It also included authorities forcing Todd to look at the photos taken at his wife’s crash site.
Officer David Hicks is also being accused of “lacking [a] probable cause” when charging Todd with manslaughter and is facing charges of malicious prosecution.
Todd believed that he had been initially called in for an interrogation to help identify the driver who had hit and killed his wife, but quickly learned that he was actually the main suspect in the investigation.
“We’re telling you what happened. You got mad and threw those keys,” an investigator told Todd during the interrogation. “The weight of those keys being thrown is sitting on your shoulders. That’s why you can’t sleep at night. It’s eating you alive.”
Hicks is also denying that he violated any of Todd’s constitutional rights, stating that the evidence he had for suspecting Todd of manslaughter “was taken with good faith.”
Hicks had also written off Glenn’s crime in his investigative report, saying, “Roger Glenn did not comprehend nor realize what had happened, therefore his crime was not a deliberate action on his part.”
A judge has since rejected Todd’s indictment back in June 2020 for lack of evidence, and a jury selection for the trial of David Hicks is reported to start in February 2023.