FORT MYERS, Fla - Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by WINK News are painting a clearer picture of what's believed to have happened the night 48-year-old Michael Sasen was struck and killed on McGregor Boulevard in Lee County.
Sasen was pronounced dead minutes after midnight on Christmas Day, after being struck by a car reportedly driven by Charles Lawson. At the time, Lawon was an investigator for the State Attorney's Office, a position he resigned from in the wake of the crash.
Witness calls to 911 reported the suspect's car leaving the scene after the accident. Investigators identified Lawson as the suspect after he returned to the scene. Documents reveal Lawson had been to a co-workers party earlier in the evening, and smelled of alcohol when he was interviewed. Written reports describe Lawson as unsteady on his feet, but he declined a breath test and no blood samples were taken. Lawson failed a field sobriety test and was arrested.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper at the scene read Lawson his rights before trying to ask questions.
"Do you understand each of the rights I've explained to you," Trooper Jeff Rongish asked Lawson.
"I do," Lawson replied.
But the interview didn't get very far. Lawson told investigators he wasn't comfortable answering questions until he spoke with his boss.
"I know... how things are," Lawson said. "I don't want to jam myself up. I'd be more than happy to cooperate with your investigation."
But then Lawson appeared to check himself.
"Is this off the record," he asked.
"No, this is still on the record," Rongish replied.
"Then I probably need to speak with my boss first," Lawson said.
Autopsy reports show Sasen had been drinking heavily that night, as well. Friends say he had been at a Christmas party earlier in the evening. Sasen's son passed away earlier in the year, and friends say the Christmas holiday was especially difficult for him. It's not known why Sasen was in the roadway at that time.
Lawson is currently out of jail while he awaits trial. Calls to his attorney were not returned.
Count on WINK News for additional details in this case as they become available.