Dennis Esquibel busted in fatal Laura McDermott hit and run -- but was he the driver?
But it's not that simple. He was reportedly joined in the car that caused the fatal crash by two other people -- and his mother, who owns the vehicle, insists that one of them was behind the wheel.
As we reported in previous coverage on view below, McDermott was crossing Broadway near Cedar at about 1 a.m. on Sunday morning when she was struck by what police now say was a 1991 Toyota Corolla. Surveillance footage didn't record the actual collision, but a flash of the car zooming past just before impact suggests to investigators that it was traveling in the sixty-miles-per-hour or above range.
The high-profile case prompted a sweeping search for the vehicle. Then, earlier this week, workers in the area of Jason Street and Louisiana Avenue noticed a suspicious car with windshield damage parked next to some railroad tracks. Police soon concluded that it was the Toyota that struck and killed McDermott.
The ownership of the Corolla was traced to Marilyn Esquibel, but she was never a suspect. Rather, attention soon focused on her son, Dennis -- a man with a lengthy criminal record. Most notable, reports the Denver Post, was a 2007 guilty plea for car theft and felony drug possession that resulted in a three-year prison sentence.
Dennis was soon arrested, but mixed reports subsequently surfaced. A Fox31 package claims that Marilyn told police her son was piloting the Corolla, while 9News has her on camera insisting that one of the others with him -- his girlfriend, who she identifies by the name Irene -- was actually in the driver's seat when the deadly crash occurred.
The Denver District Attorney's Office isn't buying that. At a press conference yesterday, DA Mitch Morrissey said charges will be filed against Dennis next week. When that happens, McDermott's heartbroken family, including her beloved father Gerry, are unlikely to feel anything approaching closure. But at least they'll no longer be haunted by the idea that a person intimately connected to the death of this vibrant young woman is still on the loose.
Look below to see video packages from Fox31 and 9News, a booking photo of Dennis Esquibel, and our previous coverage.
Continue for our earlier coverage of the Laura McDermott hit and run.