Charged with 2023 hit-and-run death, Fishersville man pleads not guilty

STAUNTON — A man accused of a fatal 2023 hit-and-run in Augusta County pleaded not guilty Tuesday in circuit court at his arraignment.

The fatal hit-and-run was investigated for several months until the suspect was indicted by the Augusta County grand jury in January.

James D. Cason, 69, of Fishersville, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Virginia State Police said that on the night of May 24, on the Parkersburg Turnpike at Pine Tree Lane, a vehicle heading toward Staunton struck Ricky C. Dickey, 42, a pedestrian. Dickey died instantly. Immediately afterward, police said the suspect’s vehicle was most likely a red or brown SUV or pickup truck with front-end damage.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed by police, a passerby found a cell phone on the ground at the scene the next day. He took the device to the nearby Swoope Volunteer Fire Company.

Authorities allegedly linked the phone to Cason, the affidavit states, leading police to contact him. He told police his phone had fallen off a work truck. Court records indicate a state police investigator identified a Honda pickup truck as belonging to Cason and said it was the truck suspected in the hit-and-run. The vehicle was at a local warehouse where Cason was allegedly seen inspecting the damage.

Court records show Cason has prior criminal charges, including six driving convictions after being declared a repeat offender. He also had drug convictions in 2003, 2013 and 2018 and spent several years behind bars, according to court records.

The day before Cason was charged in the May 2023 death, he was jailed on local drug charges, according to court records, including a charge of manufacturing or distributing a Schedule I drug or II – third offense, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. prison if found guilty.

Cason, who is being held without bail, remains at the Middle River Regional Jail in…

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