NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — David I. Sookey Jr., 61, of Adams, had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on Wednesday morning in Northern Berkshire District Court.
Sookey was arraigned on single counts of leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and of misleading, impeding and obstructing a police investigation.
He is accused of hitting 85-year-old Theresa Marby with his vehicle on Dean Street on Friday morning and leaving the scene. Marby was found in the road and pronounced dead at Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams.
According to the report filed by Adams Police Officer Gregory Charon, Sookey was backing out of his parking spot at the Oasis Liquor Store onto Dean Street at about 9:25 a.m. when his 2016 Jeep Wrangler struck Marby and knocked her down.
Police state that instead of stopping, Sookey shifted into drive, drove over her and continued southwest on Dean Street. He did not report the accident and, according to police, took "a series of systematic steps" to conceal the crime and mislead investagators.
Investigators say they confirmed this series of events after viewing security footage from a camera at Greylock Apartments that was pointed toward the scene of the incident. A gray Jeep Wrangler can be seen backing out of its parking spot as Marby, walking in the street behind it, begins to raise her hands.
Sookey told officers that he always parks on Dean Street next to the store's dumpster and that no one had used his vehicle that day. Sookey is a co-owner of Oasis, which is located at the corner of Spring and Dean streets. Marby resided on Spring Street.
Police found Marby, 85, lying in a pool of blood in the northbound lane of Dean Street. Witnesses at the scene told police they had found Marby in the road and called 911 but did not see a vehicle or the incident. Richard Sookey, David Sookey's brother and co-owner of the liquor store, told police he was inside the store and did not see anything, pointing them toward a customer who had walked out of the store and seen Marby in the road. The store does not have security cameras outside, he told police.
Marby was found to have significant head and chest trauma that doctors said was inconsistent with a fall, according to the police report.
Sookey was interviewed on Friday afternoon and told police he had left the store at 9:15 a.m. to go to Pittsfield to get a haircut and believed he may have hit a pothole on leaving. He said in his interview that he never saw Marby and had looked in his rearview mirror after believing he'd hit the pothole. He told police that his brother had texted him about the incident and he wondered if he had caused it. He indicated to police that he may have been in shock or denial, according to the report.
According to the report, he deleted all of his text messages and then washed his Jeep off at the local carwash on Friday, which police described as "a direct attempt" to destroy trace evidence after he knew he could have caused the fatality.
"Although investigators believe that Sookey's explanation of 'hitting a pothole' is implausible, Sookey admitted that at some point, approximately 1-2 hours after learning what happened, that he realized he did cause the accident and did not come forward to speak with investigators who were outside of his business all day," according to the report.
Marby was a longtime employee at McDonald's in Adams and an officer and longtime member of Burnette-Bednarz Post 1995, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
Sookey was released on $25,000 bail on condition he not operate a motor vehicle while the case is being processed. He is scheduled for a pre-trail hearing on March 19.
Theresa Marby at a recent Memorial Day ceremony.
Original posting at 4:50 p.m., Feb. 20, 2018: ADAMS, Mass. — A longtime Adams resident has been arrested in Friday's hit-and-run death of 85-year-old Theresa Marby.
Police arrested David I. Sookey Jr., 61, of East Road on Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with single counts of leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and of misleading, impeding and obstructing a police investigation. Sookey was released on personal recognizance and will be arraigned on those charges in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday morning.
Marby was discovered laying in the middle of Dean Street mid-morning on Friday and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams, where she was pronounced dead. Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted Sunday on Marby indicated she died from blunt force trauma. Dr. Robert Welton, an associate medical examiner for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, conducted the autopsy in Holyoke.
Sookey is a well-known local businessman and an owner of the Oasis Liquor Store. Marby, who lived on Spring Street not far from where she was found, was also well known in the community and had been an officer in the local VFW Auxiliary.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Adams Police Department, State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.
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