Last spring, we told you about the arrest of Andrew Simpson, who was thought to have visited a bar and been on a quest to buy pot when his car struck Masoud Bahramisasharif, a DU student walking his bike in a crosswalk. Now the boom has been lowered on Simpson in a big way: He faces up to eighteen years behind bars. Get the story below, along with photos, video and police reports.
The incident in question took place at around 8:41 p.m. on May 31. Witnesses (and there were a number of them) say Bahramisasharif was walking his bicycle in the crosswalk at University and Evans when a red SUV ran the light and plowed into him, dragging his bike for several blocks before speeding away.
As we've reported, Bahramisasharif, a native of Iran, was a DU engineering student with a particular interest in robotics. But far from taking his emotional cues from such machines, he is said to have been known for his kindness and omnipresent smile.
The grisly impact that took Bahramisasharif's life is depicted graphically in the following item from a Denver police report on view below. It shows that his body slid diagonally across the street after being struck, allegedly by Simpson's SUV, before coming into contact with a pickup parked on the opposite curb. Meanwhile, the vehicle continued straight ahead, with the bicycle still attached. Continue for more about the conviction of Andrew Simpson, including police reports and a video. After the incident, the Denver Police released photos of an early 2000s Jeep Cherokee said to resemble the vehicle in question. Here are those shots: Then, the following week, came word of a potential breakthrough -- the recovery in Aurora of what's been termed a "suspicious vehicle" that turned out to belong to Simpson's girlfriend. A statement of probable cause also seen below quotes her as saying the vehicle had only a couple of scratches the last time she'd seen it -- a strong contrast to the severe front-end damage that marred it afterward.
The statement also described two separate 911 calls from intersections not far from the crash site in the moments preceding it. One caller said the driver chased him and asked where to buy marijuana. The other one said the driver was flipping people off in the company of a shirtless passenger whose body sported plenty of tattoos -- a description that fit Simpson's brother, who was in town for a visit from Spokane, Washington.
Still, the break in the case came as a result of an anonymous tip from a Simpson acquaintance. He said Simpson had called and told him "he really fucked up." Turns out Simpson and his girlfriend had gotten into a fight -- and afterward, he'd hit the streets with his brother. Even after the two of them went to a bar, he admitted to still being angry as he drove. Then he looked down for a moment, and when he looked back up, he'd hit something.
Simpson assumed what he'd struck had been a dog, so he didn't bother stopping or checking the vehicle. He only did so after seeing a news report about the accident that killed Bahramisharif and realizing that what he'd smashed into had actually been a person.
For his actions, Simpson was charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death -- and he's now been convicted on both counts. He's due back in court on March 28, at which point he could receive a sentence as long as eighteen years.
Look below to see a larger version of Simpson's mug shot, the police accident report, the probable cause statement, and a Fox31 report from around the time of the original incident.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Andrew Simpson at bar before hit-and-run that killed DU's Masoud Bahramisasharif?"