News

Man involved in hit-and-run that killed a Menlo Park 6-year-old sentenced to prison

Shannon Steven Fox, who was extradited from Guatemala last year, pleads no contest in 2009 crash

Shannon Steven Fox, 33, has been sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter and admitting to fleeing the scene following a November 2009 hit-and-run crash that killed 6-year-old Menlo Park resident Lisa Xavier and severely injured her mother at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Fox, who was 24 and a resident of East Palo Alto at the time, was racing a Ford Mustang against a Honda Prelude at speeds approaching 80 miles per hour while driving northbound on Bayfront Expressway around 2 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2009, according to Menlo Park police. Fox crashed into a Toyota Camry being driven by Lisa's father, Charles Suresh. Suresh was uninjured in the crash, while Lisa's mother Shiji Varghese was seriously injured. Lisa, who was sitting in the backseat, was rushed to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and died of her injuries the next day. She was a student at Laurel School in Atherton.

Following the crash, Fox hopped into the vehicle of his competitor and fled the scene, quickly disappearing before police could track him down.

Though he was absent, the District Attorney's Office pursued the case. A criminal grand jury indicted Fox, which yielded an arrest warrant for $500,000. The Menlo Park Police Department also worked with the FBI to get a warrant to bring him back to the U.S. if he was found.

The police department continued to pursue the case, and after years of investigation and cooperation with international police agencies and other groups, Fox was found in Guatemala and arrested by Guatemalan authorities in December 2016.

In August 2018, following two years of efforts by Fox and his lawyers to fight extradition, he was brought back to the U.S. and has been in county custody since then.

The agencies involved with the case beyond the Menlo Park Police Department included the county District Attorney's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, the Transnational Anti-Gang Task Force, the FBI legal attache in Guatemala, and the U.S. State Department.

At a press conference held in August 2018, FBI Deputy Special Agent Craig Fair said, "It is the product of tenacious work and dedication. ... Our message today is clear: Those who believe they are above the law and engage in behavior to endanger the safety of the people in our communities – they will be brought to justice."

--

Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or show your support for local journalism by subscribing.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2019 at 4:54 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Only 9 years in prison for this hit-and-run that killed someone, and then fleeing the country?!?

Nice work FBI, tracking this loser down. You have my support and respect for the outstanding work you do. I'm happy to pay your salaries any day!!!


4 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

pearl is a registered user.

And thanks to the San Mateo County DA's office for pursuing this case!!! I'm happy to pay your salaries, too!!! :)


2 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

9 years seems pretty light for the crimes and fleeing the country to avoid prosecution.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 4, 2019 at 11:15 am

Glad he is being held accountable. You are missed very much Lisa.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Nationally renowned Indian restaurant expanding to Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 2,622 views

Summer travel: Is anything changing?
By Sherry Listgarten | 10 comments | 1,151 views

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 845 views

Cap On? Cap Off? Recycling Bottles is Confusing
By Laura Stec | 12 comments | 678 views

Swimming with the kids
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 642 views