Dr. Mohammad Sarrafizadeh made his first appearance in court Wednesday on charges from a deadly accident in June. Police say Sarrafizadeh hit and killed landscaper Ramon Martinez-Limon with his car. They say he didn't stop after the accident, drove home and then discovered the victim on the roof of his vehicle.
67-year-old Sarrafizadeh was charged with failure to stop at an accident and vehicular homicide. The first charge is a felony and the other is a misdemeanor.
Sarrafizadeh could potentially face up to 12 months in jail for the misdemeanor and between five and seven months with presumed probation for the felony. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 23rd.
Attorneys for Sarrafizadeh say he had a stroke which caused the accident, and left him confused.
Dan Monnat and Sal Intagliata of Monnat & Spurrier, lawyers for Dr. Sarrafizadeh, released the following statement last month:
“The sincere condolences and prayers of Dr. Sarrafizadeh and his family go out to the family of Mr. Martinez-Limon. This was a tragic accident. Dr. Sarrafizadeh is a highly respected physician who, that morning, was taking his autistic, severely mentally disabled 22 year old daughter to her special needs school, just like he did every day.
“This day however he suffered a form of stroke that caused the accident. The medical evidence and testing of four independent Kansas doctors now clearly establish that. The condition left Dr. Sarrafizadeh so disoriented and confused that he turned around and drove home not even realizing he had been involved in an accident. Dr. Sarrafizadeh’s condition has left him unable to continue to practice his medical specialty and he has thus officially retired from his position with the Veteran’s Hospital.”
Make no mistake: Dr. Sarrafizadeh has every intention of proceeding to jury trial until his innocence is clear and he is found not guilty of the charges filed. Dr. Sarrafizadeh did not consciously drive in an unsafe manner. He suffered a medical condition that caused the accident. It rendered him incapable of even understanding that an accident had occurred. Otherwise, as he has done with veterans and others his whole life, Dr. Sarrafizadeh would have done everything possible to render immediate aid to Mr. Martinez-Limon.
Beyond the above statement, Dr. Sarrafizadeh and his attorneys have no further comment at this time."