SAN DIEGO – A mistrial was declared Tuesday when jurors deadlocked in the case of a man accused of fatally striking a UC San Diego student on the freeway near Old Town last year, then leaving the scene.
Prosecutors have yet to announce whether to retry Corundolus Toussaint, 39, of Perris, on a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death stemming from the Feb. 24, 2018, death of Andres Perkins, 21, of Menifee.
Jurors deliberated for more than a day before finding that they could not overcome a 6-6 deadlock.
Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy said Perkins was killed “almost instantaneously” when he was struck in the fast lane of the freeway around 2:45 a.m.
It is unknown why Perkins was on the freeway at that time.
Police found a license plate near the scene that was tracked to a car owned by Toussaint’s girlfriend. The car was found about two hours after the crash, abandoned at a Shell gas station a few miles south of where Perkins’ body was discovered, Reedy said. The front license plate of the car was missing and the car was damaged, she said.
The prosecutor said surveillance video from the gas station shows Toussaint and a woman, presumably his girlfriend, getting out of the car, then getting a ride from an unknown person about half an hour later.
Toussaint surrendered to San Diego police two days later.
Defense attorney Manuel Avitia said in his opening statement that Tousssaint was “confused, disoriented and disabled” in the moment, but did not elaborate on what may have caused his client’s inattention at the time of the crash.
Avitia noted that Perkins was running across the freeway at the time, and urged jurors to remember that Toussaint ultimately turned himself in.
Toussaint remains held on $140,000 bail.