Suspect in double fatal Hartford hit-and-run charged with 2 counts of manslaughter

HARTFORD — Police have made a second arrest in a hit-and-run case that resulted in the death of two cousins last month.

Nathaniel Jefferson turned himself in to Hartford Police and was charged with two counts of secnd-degree manslaughter,  two counts of evading responsibility with death,  evading responsibility,  reckless driving,  traveling too fast for conditions,  failure to drive in proper lane, and operating with suspended license. Jefferson  is being held on $1,000,000 bond.

On January 16, at around 10 p.m., Hartford police said Tina Fontanez, 24, of Hartford and Catalina Melendez, 23, had just come back from roller skating when shortly after stepping out of a cab, they were both hit by a car.

Just minutes later, both women were rushed to St. Francis Hospital with serious injuries but Fontanez died at 10:20 p.m. Melendez died several day later.

During a police investigation, Hartford police said they found an abandoned Acura near the scene and evidence showed it was involved in a crash. That same night, Hartford police said Lorenzo Ivery, 25, showed up to the police department to report a stolen car all while there was glass on his hair and clothes. That is when police learned he was the passenger in the car that hit Fontanez and Melendez.

Ivery was initially charged with making false statements and hindering a prosecution, with bond set at $30,000. His charges were then upgraded to felony evading responsibility with death and making false statements. His bond was raised to $150,000.

Responding officers found an unoccupied silver 2006 Acura TSX near the crash scene at the intersection of Bethel and Guilford streets with damage and evidence consistent and with having been involved in the crash.