Man involved in hit-and-run that killed 6-year-old girl sentenced to prison after no-contest plea | June 5, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - June 5, 2019

Man involved in hit-and-run that killed 6-year-old girl sentenced to prison after no-contest plea

by Kate Bradshaw

Shannon Steven Fox, 33, has been sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading no contest on May 31 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."


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