Justice for John Akers; How did deputies crack the case?
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Jun. 5, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It was two weeks of hoping for one Tucson family, who tells 9OYS they were just waiting for the justice system to fail them.
Now, that hope is restored.
Wednesday afternoon, Pima County sheriff's deputies arrested 24 year-old Enrique Hernandez in the hit-and-run death of longtime Sun Tran driver John Akers.
They were a family in mourning.
"He was so excited to be a grandfather," Dixie Akers told 9OYS on the night her father died.
They mourned over a brutal death shrouded in mystery.
"Whoever did it, I just want to let you know, you ruined my life," she told us Monday, at his funeral.
Now, nearly two weeks later after his violent death, the haze has lifted, allowing those who loved John Akers to see the man, deputies say, killed him: 24 year-old Enrique Hernandez.
"It's just a really good feeling that somebody is being held responsible for something they know that they did," said Dixie, via phone Wednesday night.
Deputies say this arrest is a longtime coming.
"We still continued working and following up on those leads," said Deputy Tracy Suitt.
The wreck happened in the early morning hours of May 23rd, near Irvington and Misson.
It was dark.
Witness accounts were vague, and Hernandez and his cousin pointed fingers at each other.
In an officer testimony obtained by 9OYS, investigators detail how they found Hernandez that morning with with the car.
He appeared intoxicated and claimed "his cousin... was driving at the time of the collision."
That cousin, who we tracked down last week, told deputies he "...was driving the vehicle..." but "...was not involved in a collision..."
Later, he changed his story, claiming he wasn't even in the vehicle.
So how did deputies crack this he-said-he-said case?
One possible clue: cell phones.
That same report details how the cousin "...was calling Hernandez at the time of the collision..."
That lead deputies to believe he "...was not with Hernandez..."
One piece of evidence in a complicated case, that may lead to justice for John Akers.
This step toward justice comes on, what would have been, John Akers' 65th birthday.
Enrique Hernandez faces one count each of 2nd degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident with serious or fatal injuries.
Deputies say this could become a drunk driving case down the line.
9OYS will stay on this and bring you updates as they come.