Bail set at $1 million for Tacoma man charged in fatal crash

Anthony Hem had barely been released from the hospital when police arrested him and a judge ordered him jailed on $1 million bail.

Tacoma police found him Thursday at an apartment complex in the 200 block of Tacoma Avenue and arrested him on a warrant that was issued after a May 10 wreck that killed Hem’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Marisa Richie.

Hem pleaded not guilty Friday to second-degree murder, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, second-degree assault, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and felony hit-and-run.

Prosecutors contend Hem caused the fiery crash that ended near East 64th Street and Waller Road after a high-speed chase. Hem allegedly lost control of a stolen pickup and drove into a utility pole, shearing the pole off at the base.

Officers found the truck on its top and on fire. Richie was dead. Hem and a friend in the truck, Pierre Jennings, 20, were seriously injured.

The trouble started May 9 when Hem, Jennings and Richie were sitting inside a car at a Lakewood apartment complex. A resident asked them to move the car out of his assigned stall, and the three attacked him and stole his 2004 GMC pickup, according to charging papers.

Around 1 a.m. on May 10, a Tacoma police officer spotted the stolen truck and tried to stop, it but Hem, who was driving, took off.

The truck ran stop lights and other traffic signals and reached 100 mph, court records show.

At one point, Hem drove the pickup directly at a patrol car, missing it by inches after the officer quickly punched the gas pedal.

It ended in the crash after Hem lost control.

Hem was released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last week. Tacoma police took him into custody after receiving a tip about where he was living.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653