Jury hears interview of suspect in gas-and-dash

Suspect told police he didn’t remember driving over woman

CALGARY — A suspect in the hit-and-run death of a gas station worker told a police investigator he blacked out and doesn’t remember driving over the woman after she fell off the stolen truck as he sped away.

Maryam Rashidi, 35, was trying to stop a driver from leaving a Centex gas station in Calgary without paying in June 2015.

She chased the truck out into traffic and climbed on the hood in an attempt to get the driver to come back and pay for $113 worth of stolen fuel. The driver swerved, causing her to fall to the ground, where she was run over by the front and rear dual tires.

Joshua Cody Mitchell, 22, is on trial facing a number of charges that include second-degree murder.

“I kept reversing to go around, and she kept … jumping in front of the car,” he said in a videotaped police interview shortly after his arrest.

The video was played for the jury Wednesday.

“This bitch is nuts,” he said when an officer asked him what he was thinking at the time.

“I braked a bit. She fell off. And then I blacked out after she grabbed back on.”

Det. Rey Bangloy suggested it was unrealistic to believe Mitchell had blacked out.

“Well, I don’t remember anything after that. I don’t know if it was my heart just pumping. I don’t know what was going through my mind. A lot was going through my mind at that time,” Mitchell replied.

He is also heard saying on the video that his friend warned him that Rashidi was in pursuit and quoted the friend as saying: ”Some bitch was chasing us down.”

Before jumping in front of the truck, Rashidi came to an open window, Mitchell told the investigator.

“I told her to move,” he said.

Mitchell said there were two options: he and his friend were either going to spray bear repellant in Rashidi’s face or drive away without hurting her.

“We tried for option two because we didn’t want to hurt anybody.”

He said the media didn’t report that he tried to avoid Rashidi “to make me look like the bad guy. I didn’t want to hurt anybody.”

“Do you wish you could go back in time and change things?” asked Bangloy.

“Yeah,” said Mitchell, who dabbed away tears during parts of the interview.

“Are you remorseful for what … happened here?”

“Yeah.”

A number of jurors were crying as Bangloy urged Mitchell to come clean about what happened for the sake of Rashidi’s family and her young son.

“Eventually that young kid, the young boy, is going to grow up and he’s going to want to know why this had to happen,” the officer said. ”The husband … called one of our investigators and just asked what do I tell my son? My son’s asking, ‘Where’s Mommy?’” said Bangloy.

The detective told Mitchell he was going to jail and there was plenty of evidence to lay charges.

“You’re not going to walk away from this. You’re just not. You can either man up, or you can let this ruin you for the rest of your life,” he said.

At the end of the interview the detective asked Mitchell to write a letter to the Rashidi’s family. It was read into court.

“I’m really sorry this had to happen to your family,” wrote Mitchell. “It shouldn’t have happened. We tried to avoid injury to anyone. I feel so bad that this happened. I’ve never hurt anyone physically in my life. This is the first.

“I can’t live with myself knowing what I’ve done to your family.”

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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