By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Middlesex County announced that on Monday, November 13, Fornice Boatner, 33, of Cleveland, Texas, was sentenced in connection with a fatal hit-and-run that occurred on May 25, 2022, on the Garden State Parkway that killed Felipe Dos-Santos, 31, of Elizabeth.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said on May 25, 2022, New Jersey State Police responded to a report of a deceased individual found in a ditch next to the roadway on the northbound side of the Garden State Parkway at milepost 130.4 in Woodbridge Township.
Upon the officers' arrival, officials stated they located the body, and it was identified as Felipe Dos-Santos, 31, of Elizabeth, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
After further investigation led by Detectives from the New Jersey State Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, it was determined that on May 22, 2022, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Felipe was walking northbound on the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway in the area of milepost 130.4, when he was struck by a 2007 silver Dodge Ram that fled the scene after the crash and continued traveling north, officials said.
The ongoing investigation revealed that the driver and registered owner of the Dodge Ram was Fornice Boatner, a resident of Texas.
Detectives also determined that Boatner recently made repairs to the vehicle to conceal the damage sustained in the hit-and-run, officials say.
According to officials, on May 28, 2022, the Houston Texas Police Department and Liberty County Sheriff's Office located Boatner and his Dodge Ram in Cleveland, TX.
Authorities say the Liberty County Sheriff's Office arrested Boatner at his residence a short time later.
Officials say during the ongoing investigation, evidence was obtained linking Boatner and his Dodge Ram to the New Jersey hit-and-run.
As a result, Boatner was charged with Vehicular Homicide, Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash, Causing Death, Hindering, Obstruction, and Tampering with Evidence, officials stated.
Officials said on June 10, 2022, Boatner was extradited back to New Jersey.
Authorities say on January 30, 2023, Boatner pled guilty to second-degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death but failed to appear at sentencing.
According to officials, on November 2, 2023, Boatner was apprehended and charged with third-degree Bail Jumping.
On November 14, 2023, Boatner was sentenced by the Honorable Joseph Paone, J.S.C., to 9 years in New Jersey State Prison for the crime of second-degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death, officials say.