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16-year-old charged in fatal DUI crash to face adult court, judge rules

A 16-year-old boy was certified Wednesday to face adult court in connection with a fatal crash from February.

Dyvonn Grissom is charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance resulting in death, reckless driving resulting in death, evading police resulting in death and driving without a license.

Prosecutor Robert Bawa said at a hearing Wednesday that on Feb. 3, Clark County School District police attempted to investigate a minivan near Sierra Vista High School because the driver was potentially involved in a drug deal. Grissom, who was behind the wheel, drove off.

Bawa said the Metropolitan Police Department chose not to chase the minivan because of how fast Grissom, who was 15 at the time, was driving. Bawa said he was traveling 107 mph in a 35 mph zone seconds before the crash.

The Sierra Vista High 10th grader ran a red light at South Torrey Pines Drive and West Windmill Lane and struck a Nissan, driven by Jeffrey Gonzales, as Gonzales was driving through a green light, Bawa said, reading from the police report.

Gonzales, 23, had been working overnight at FedEx to save money for his wedding, which he and his girlfriend of six years had planned to travel to Iceland to celebrate, Bawa said. Gonzales was a block from home at the time of the crash. He died at the scene.

Officers found marijuana in the center console, and Grissom’s blood came back positive for THC, Bawa said. Grissom remained hospitalized with injuries to his right hip, Bawa said.

“It’s not a murder,” Bawa said. “I know the difference. I never called it that. What it is, is somebody deciding to get behind the wheel knowing that they’re high. … These are delinquent activities, criminal activities.”

Grissom’s mother cried silently while his two sisters sat in the courtroom. In the row directly behind them, several members of Gonzales’ family wept.

Grissom had a traumatic childhood after his father was shot and killed by police in Los Angeles in 2009, his attorney, Spencer Judd, said. The officers involved were charged and ultimately found guilty, but the 4-year-old Grissom testified and had to watch videos of the shooting.

“Yes, this young man has trouble, and he has had trouble,” Judd said, citing years of therapy.

The Associated Press reported that the family received $8.8 million after a jury trial in 2013 found that Lejoy Grissom was not a threat to officers when he was fatally shot.

Judd said the Clark County School District police lied to the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the time of the crash but did not elaborate.

“Public safety warrants transfer to the adult system,” Family Court Judge William Voy said simply at the end of a 53-minute hearing.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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