Visalia woman found guilty of hit and run murder
Chaylin Funez found guilty of second-degree murder with the special allegation of use of a deadly weapon
VISALIA – Justice for a family who lost their father came this week as a Tulare County jury found Chaylin Funez, 18, of Visalia, guilty of second degree murder with the special allegation of using a deadly weapon and hit and run causing death.
The murder happened on May 27 when Visalia Police Department officers responded to calls of a hit and run near Conyer and Prospect. According to witnesses, prior to the crime, Funez and her boyfriend were engaged in an argument with a third person, when a resident, 35-year-old Eric Fisher, a married father of two, told them to take their fight somewhere else because this is a family neighborhood with children present. Funez and her boyfriend cursed at Fisher, and got into Funez’s car, a gray 2007 Toyota Camry. Fisher walked back to his house, which was across the street from the argument. Funez then made a u-turn and approached the intersection where she stopped even though she had the right of way, then abruptly accelerated her vehicle smashing into Fisher who was standing on the sidewalk, and crashing through the chain link fence of the neighbor’s yard. Fisher was launched over the car, and landed behind the car. Funez then reversed the car, backed over Fisher, and then accelerated down Prospect, dragging him an entire block while his family screamed for her to stop as she fled. Funez rounded the corner at Turner Street before his body dislodged from Funez’s vehicle, and Funez sped away. Fisher died from his injuries later that evening at Kaweah Delta Hospital. Police located Funez at her home two days later and took her in to custody.
“We are pleased with the verdict made by the jury, and we thank them for taking this matter seriously in the midst of a busy holiday season,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “There is no question that Mr. Fisher’s death was not an accident as argued, but instead a horrific, senseless act witnessed by his family. We hope today brings them a sense of peace as they remember their husband, father, and friend. Mr. Fisher’s death had a profound impact on the community, and this office will argue for the maximum sentence.”
Sentencing is set for Jan. 4, 2018, in Superior Court, where Funez faces 26 years to life in prison.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Noell Niayesh and Mitch Niayesh of the Major Crimes Division and was investigated by the Visalia Police Department.