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Local News

‘Car Surfing’ Defendant Faces Preliminary Hearing This Month

Lanie Tyrone Richardson of Santa Barbara will return to court Aug. 30 to determine whether there's enough evidence for a trial

Lanie Tyrone Richardson, the Santa Barbara man facing a murder charge stemming from a fatal car-surfing incident in Montecito in June, is scheduled to return to court later this month for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to merit a trial.

Richardson, 28, clad in a red jumpsuit, appeared Thursday before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Jean Dandona, who set his preliminary hearing on a charge of second-degree murder and other felonies for Aug. 30.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about exactly what they believe happened in the early-morning hours of June 6, when Allison Meadows suffered fatal injuries while car surfing on East Valley Road east of Sheffield Drive, and the preliminary hearing promises considerable new details.

California Highway Patrol investigators allege that Richardson was behind the wheel of a Toyota 4Runner the day the 26-year-old Meadows was killed. She and Lindsay Keebler, 25, also of Santa Barbara, reportedly had been riding on the vehicle’s hood and windshield — a risky behavior known as car surfing — when they were ejected and thrown onto the roadway.

Meadows was fatally injured, and Keebler suffered serious injuries.

Afterward, Richardson, a male passenger whose identity has not been released, and Keebler allegedly placed Meadows in the car and transported her to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital without calling 9-1-1, according to CHP statements.

Richardson and the male passenger initially were described by CHP as “good Samaritans” who had found the injured women on the roadway and brought them to the hospital.

En route to the hospital, Richardson, Keebler and the male passenger allegedly hatched a plan to “fool law enforcement” about what happened as they were driving the woman to Cottage Hospital, according to the sworn statement of a CHP investigator.

“Upon arrival to the hospital, Richardson gave misleading information to law enforcement regarding the incident,” CHP Officer Jason Miller said in a statement.

Richardson, who has a lengthy record for DUI and other offenses, has been charged with second-degree murder and other felonies in connection with the incident, and entered a not-guilty plea in June. He remains in the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $1 million.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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