JURY VERDICT: Auburndale man found guilty in fatal hit-and-run, faces 60 years in prison

Paul Marx consumed numerous alcoholic drinks and drifted off the roadway while driving home, striking and instantly killing a pedestrian.

Paul Marx, 45, of Auburndale.

After three hours of deliberation, Marx, 45, was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide with failure to render aid and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. He is facing up to 60 years in prison.

Marx will be sentenced May 3.

Assistant State Attorneys Mattie Tondreault and Courtney Durden tried the case and took jurors back to the night of Sept. 27, 2014, when 52-year-old John Haney was killed.

Marx started drinking at about 4 p.m. that day with his neighbor, consuming drinks with double shots of alcohol. He took his neighbor home about two hours later and went back out to drink, visiting at least three different establishments, until he left the XYZ Lounge about 11:15 p.m.

Haney walked up to the Circle K on U.S. 92 and was headed back home. He was walking in the grassy area on the eastbound side of the road, which is about three feet from where the pavement ends.

Marx was travelling about 55 miles per hour down U.S. 92 in his 2004 Ford F-150 when he veered off the roadway. He drove on the side of the road for 224 feet, and he struck Haney with the front right section of his truck.

Haney’s back hit the hood of Marx’s truck before his body was thrown 141 feet from the point of impact. Marx continued driving on the side of the roadway for over 150 feet before he re-entered it.

There were clear tire tracks left at the scene, which showed that Marx did not swerve or attempt to hit the brakes.

When Marx got home, his neighbor noticed that the truck was parked funny and saw Marx drunkenly leaning on the vehicle. The two men found blood spots on the hood of the truck, and Marx admitted he heard a thud while driving home but thought it was road debris.

The neighbor drove Marx back to the bar in an attempt to find the scene of the incident, but they were unable to. Marx went back home and waited another two hours before calling police to report the crash.

Haney’s body was found about 3 a.m.

The defense argued that Marx didn’t see the victim or know what he hit, so he kept driving. They claimed it was just an accident.

But Tondreault told jurors that at least two feet of Haney’s body would have been visible above the hood of the truck at the point of impact. She also reminded the jury that Marx had his headlights and fog lights on, illuminating the grass in the 224 feet leading up to the victim.