INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– An Indianapolis man suspected in a deadly hit-and-run on Indy’s south side is now facing a murder charge.
CBS4 reported Thursday that the suspect, Stephen Watkins, was already facing felony charges of aggravated battery and leaving the scene of the accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury. However, the victim’s family was pleading with the prosecutor for a tougher punishment.
On Friday, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed an amended probable cause document which included one count of murder.
The crash took place on Jan. 19 near the intersection of West Southport Road and South Tibbs Avenue. Tire tracks show the exact spot where a driver jumped the curb, hit the victim and then drove away.
The crash killed Tonya Meyer, who was also known by friends as Lynn Sedam. Meyer's brother, Daniel Johnson, told CBS4 he didn't think his younger sister's death was an accident.
“He apparently had been outraged because she turned him down, so took his vehicle and ran over her which caused severe brain damage and broke her all to pieces,” said Johnson.
Court documents show a witness told police Watkins had been arguing with Tonya and she said, “She didn’t care about Mr. Watkins… which caused him to become angry and jealous.”
The pair then went to a nearby restaurant, but Meyer got out the van and walked away. Eyewitnesses told police Watkins “darted over to the left” as if he were making an evasive move and hit the victim. After the crash, prosecutors claim Watkins drove the damaged van back to his home and parked it in the driveway.
Prosecutors claim while in jail Watkins, who is still married to another woman, told his wife the victim “probably stepped in front of his vehicle.”
“There’s no way she stepped out. He intentionally hit her and killed her. So he ought to be charged with murder,” Johnson said Thursday.
The prosecutor's office declined to comment further on the amended charges.