Tucson man who was fatally hit by a vehicle while crossing a highway last week is the same man convicted multiple times for the murder of an Alabama animal trapper, authorities said Friday.
The Pima County medical examiner's office confirmed that David Nash, 59, died of blunt force trauma in the Jan. 26 incident. It's unclear if Nash had any drugs or alcohol in his system. Results of a toxicology report will take at least four weeks to complete, Dr. Eric Peters said.
Nash was crossing the southbound lanes of State Route 77 around 11:40 p.m. when he was hit by a Dodge sedan, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
"Right now, there is no indication to show this was a suicide," DPS spokesman Kameron Lee said in a statement. "It is unclear why he was crossing the road in that area."
The area where he was struck was also very dark, Lee added.
Nash was tried three times for the 2011 death of Ralph McNeil, known as "Critter Man." According to Montgomery County prosecutors, Nash, a former doctor, was dating a woman who was in a custody dispute with the victim. Nash and his girlfriend were accused of paying a pair of cousins $9,000 to kill McNeil.
Nash was convicted twice but the convictions were successfully appealed on legal technicalities including juror misconduct and contradictory evidence, WSFA-TV in Montgomery reported. The third time, Nash was found guilty of a lesser charge of felony murder.
But his defense attorneys argued it was not a proper downgraded charge for capital murder.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals set aside the conviction, vacating the sentence. Because a judge granted a motion for judgment of acquittal on capital murder for hire, Nash was released from jail last March.