Texas woman accused in hit-and-run death asks court to return her BMW

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas woman accused in the hit-and-run death of a San Antonio surgeon who was riding his bicycle filed a motion asking the court to return her BMW.

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Melissa Nicole Peoples, 50, of San Antonio, was charged with intoxication manslaughter and failing to stop and render aid in the February 2019 death of Naji Tanios Kayruz, 58, a San Antonio surgeon, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Peoples was driving a white 2015 BMW on the day of the incident, KSAT reported.

On Wednesday, Peoples’ lawyer asked Judge Velia Meza to return the vehicle to Peoples, the television station reported.

Demetrio Duarte told Meza that Peoples should get the car back because she is continuing to make payments on it, KSAT reported.

“I think it’s pretty clear that Mrs. Peoples should get her car back unless the State of Texas wants to be making the payment,” Duarte told Veza.

However, prosecutors testified that they plan to use the car as demonstrative evidence in Peoples’ trial, the television station reported.

“The car, itself, is the instrument of the crime, and to give the car, or instrument of the crime back to the defendant, is the same as releasing a gun or a knife back to the defendant,” prosecutor Clayton Haden told the court.

Meza denied Duarte’s motion.

According to authorities, Peoples fatally struck Kayruz, who was cycling on Interstate 10 West, the Express-News reported.

San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Don Gatten said Kayruz was in full cycling gear and “was doing everything right.”

“The problem is this kind of traffic, it’s dangerous,” Gatten told the newspaper.

Peoples remains free on bail while she awaits trial, KSAT reported.

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