Commonwealth v. Christopher Kita; Driver Causes Fatal DUI Crash While on Bond for DUI; Sentenced to 4 Years, 30 Days

Monday, December 11, 2017

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Christopher Hudson Kita, 29 years old, formerly of the 2800 block of Wesley Road in Chesapeake, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Glenn R. Croshaw for charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and DUI.  Judge Croshaw sentenced Kita to ten (10) years and 365 days in prison with six (6) years and 335 days suspended leaving four (4) years and thirty (30) days to serve, plus a fine of $500. His driver's license was suspended indefinitely.  This sentence exceeded the recommendation of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines which called for a sentence of no more than three (3) years in prison.

Kita pled guilty on August 23, 2017. Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on March 5, 2017, at approximately 3:25 a.m., a Virginia State Police trooper was dispatched to a disabled vehicle stopped in the left-hand lane of I-264 West at the Witchduck Road overpass. At approximately 3:28 a.m. the call was changed to a crash with injuries and an unconscious female later identified as 22-year-old Teja Freeman.  A trooper arrived on scene just one minute later and found a two-vehicle crash.  Freeman's vehicle had been stopped in the left-hand lane for unknown reasons. It was struck from behind at a high rate of speed by a Toyota Tacoma driven by Christopher Kita. 

Freeman was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Kita had a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, was unsteady on his feet, and had glassy bloodshot eyes.  He showed multiple signs of impairment on field sobriety tests. He stated that he only had one margarita at a friend's house; however, police recovered photos on his phone that showed him drinking at a bar that night.  His BAC was a .14, which is almost twice the legal limit.

Witnesses described Kita's driving as being aggressive, erratic, and above the speed limit.  One witness said that Kita was riding closely behind him, and then Kita moved into the left lane to pass the witness, revving his engine as he did so.  Moments later that witness came upon the accident scene.  Another witness said that he came upon the victim's vehicle and was able to maneuver around it, avoiding a collision.  The victim's vehicle had its lights and right blinker on.  A "black box" recovered from Kita's vehicle was analyzed and estimated his speed to be 78 m.p.h. prior to the crash. 

At the time of this incident, Kita was on bond for a DUI arrest that occurred about a month earlier in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Kita was ultimately convicted of Reckless Driving in that case.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney David W. Laird and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jill T. Bennett.  Please contact Macie Allen for additional information.