Saddleblanket pleads in hit-and-run death

Collision killed biker in June



Elliot D. Saddleblanket has agreed to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

A motorcyclist, Thomas Geno Scafidi, of Glendale, died of his injuries after a June 9, 2007, hit-and-run collision on State Route 89A in Cottonwood. The accident occurred in the westbound lane of the state highway near the Verde Heights Drive intersection.

Witnesses said that a Monte Carlo struck the motorcycle from behind as the biker slowed to make a right turn. The car then left the scene, fleeing towards Clarkdale on highway.

The same vehicle was involved in an accident in Prescott Valley the following night, but Saddleblanket was not in the car at the time. He was questioned by Yavapai-Apache Police after the Prescott Valley incident. At that time they police determined that Saddleblanket had been involved in the Cottonwood fatal the night before.

According to the plea, 36-year old Saddleblanket must serve up to 12.5 years for the manslaughter and up to 8.75 years in prison for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Four aggravated DUI charges would be dismissed under the plea that also requires that the two remaining counts must be served consecutively.

In addition to fines, and restitution the defendant must also surrender his driver's license for five years.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 25 in Judge Thomas Lindberg's court in Prescott.


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