Police: Phone records place man at accident scene

Cell phone records put a Lexington man, who owned a truck police think was involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed a UK freshman, at the scene of the wreck, Lexington police said.

Shannon Houser, 36, told police he was at home at 2:30 a.m. on April 13, around the time of the accident that killed Connie Blount, 18, of Park City, Utah.

According to court records, Houser’s cell phone records show that shortly after the time of the collision, he made several outgoing calls that were routed through a cellular communications site located at 200 Bolivar Street, about 0.2 miles from the site of the incident.

After reviewing the phone records, police said they determined Houser was in the area around the time of the accident. Houser lives at 942 Detroit Ave., more than two miles from the site of the wreck at the intersection of South Broadway and West Maxwell Street, according to court records.

Houser was arrested Thursday on charges of tampering with physical evidence, a felony, and leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor, according to court records.

Blount was crossing South Broadway at about 2:15 a.m. when a pickup truck, described by police as a light-colored extended-cab Chevrolet, hit her and then fled south on South Broadway, police said April 13. Blount died from her injuries hours later at UK Medical Center.

Police found broken and damaged vehicle parts at the scene of the accident and that same day, located a 1991 silver Chevrolet truck owned by Houser that matched the description from an eye-witness, according to court records.

According to police, the vehicle was missing its bumper, front grill and headlamp assemblies. Houser told police the missing parts were at his auto shop where he had worked the night before the accident, April 12, until 10 p.m. before returning home for the rest of the night.

Police said they located the missing parts at the auto shop that matched the parts found at the scene of the accident. Suspected blood and strands of hair were also found on the exterior of the vehicle, according to court records.

Houser was released Friday from Fayette County jail after posting a $3,100 bond. He went before a district court judge on Friday and rescheduled his court hearing for May 8 at 8:30 a.m. Houser did not enter a plea.

Police said they suspect Blount and her friend, a male in his late teens or early 20s, were crossing at a crosswalk while the light was green for vehicles. Police said the two had been drinking that night, but they do not think that Blount and her friend had enough to impair their ability to walk home safely.

Blount’s body underwent an autopsy April 13. Toxicology reports that will show whether she was intoxicated will not be available for another one to three months.

Blount’s father, Jack Blount, told the Kernel last week that he was “surprised and very hopeful” at the quick progress in the investigation of his daughter’s death.

Jack Blount said April 24 that he was glad someone was arrested, but he is disappointed with the charges and said he hopes whoever is guilty will be convicted on more serious charges for killing his daughter.