The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Accused hit and run killer indicted for both manslaughter and murder

Grand jury indicts Valdez man accused of drunkenly taking life of Valdez woman

 

April 18, 2018

VPD photo

Ero Walli at the time of his arrest by Valdez police.

The man accused in the death of Valdez woman Chellsie Hoffman has been indicted by the Palmer grand jury.

Ero Victor Walli, age 46, was originally charged with felony manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid, DUI and a misdemeanor weapons charge after Valdez police say they found a loaded Rugar pistol in the truck at the time of his arrest on April 8. Last week's indictment included an upgraded charge of murder in the second degree. In the indictment, the jury found there was evidence that Walli acted with extreme indifference after he hit and again ran over the victim.

At the time of his arrest, charging documents filed in Valdez court by Valdez police stated that numerous witnesses saw Walli hit Hoffman outside of the Boardroom, a bar located on the same property of as the Totem Inn, at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, April 8. After striking the victim with his vehicle, Hoffman then ran over the downed woman then proceeded to leave the scene of the crime.

Walli was later arrested by Valdez police at his home on Falcon Dr. in the Robe River Subdivision. A breathalyzer test administered after his arrest – over two-and-a-half hours after the incident – yielded a BRaC of .305.

Hoffman, age 31 and mother to four children, was the designated driver for a girls' night out according to witnessed quoted in the charging documents. A celebration of life, candlelight vigil and other events commemorating Hoffman were held in Valdez on Saturday.

The indictments for manslaughter and murder 2 would give a trial jury two theories on Walli's state of mind and actions at the time of the incident.

A new bail hearing is set for Walli this Friday.

As of Tuesday morning, Walli was still held in custody at the Valdez jail according to Bart Hinkle, Valdez police chief.

At an emotional hearing last week, Judge Dan Schally set Walli's bail at $100,000, $75,000 cash or corporate bond plus $25,000 cash performance bond.

"In the event that bail is posted, conditions of release include mandatory electronic monitoring supervision by the Valdez Police Department with the requirement that Mr. Walli remain under house arrest until further ordered by the court," Valdez police said last week in a press released issued by the city's clerk, Sheri Pierce, who is also the city's public information officer.

Walli lost his job as

Schally also issued a restraining order that prohibits Walli from making contact with the Hoffman family or witnesses in the case; in addition to standard orders that are often issued to individuals accused of DUI, including a prohibition on consuming alcohol.

The state's Alcohol Control Board will investigate the incident after the Valdez Police Department conclude its investigation, which is ongoing in the matter.

An outpouring of support for the Hoffman family by the Valdez community is ongoing.

An online auction of items donated to help Hoffman's husband Kyle has been running on Facebook.

An account were cash donations can be made is set up at Wells Fargo "Donations for Kyle Hoffman." Questions can be directed to Connie at the Valdez branch of Wells Fargo at (907) 835-4745.

 

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