UPDATE: Pedestrian struck in Warwick dies, driver charged
By: Chloe Leshner
WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — The driver who hit and killed a person in Warwick Tuesday night admitted to police he was under the influence of drugs. Despite that admission the driver has been released from jail after he was charged with driving under the influence.
24 year old Marshall Howard was released even after admitting to police he was smoking fetynal before he hit and killed 23 year old David Bustin of Pembroke, Massachusetts.
Howard allowed to walk free less than 24 hours after hitting and killing Bustin, who was crossing Main Avenue in Warwick while driving on a suspended license.
The suspect’s father emotional as they left the Kent County Courthouse saying, "it’s bad enough that the parents of the other person have to bury their son. Two lives are being ruined. One has been extinguished and [my son’s] life is forever changed."
Police were called to the scene at 10:25 on Tuesday night where they found Howard. They say he was asking about the victim’s condition but that his speech was slow and deliberate. He admitted to leaving his job as a pizza delivery man to smoke fetynal AND marijuana, a glass pipe and a straw with residue were found in his car. Howard gave a blood sample and a drug recognition expert was at the scene.
But the judge claimed there was not yet enough hard evidence to prove he was actually under the influence. Howard did not enter a plea and while he was released on $50,000 personal recognizance he does still have to undergo a mental health and substance abuse evaluation.
The judge made is very clear to Howard that he is not facing life in prison but anywhere from 5 to 15 years his next court date is August 21st.
The victim David Bustin was a student at New England Tech.
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