Hit-and-run vehicular homicide suspect has history of DUIs

SEATTLE — Twenty-seven-year old Treza Hafzalla showed little emotion as she walked into the King County jail courtroom.   The King County deputy prosecutor outlined the serious allegations against her.

"The defendant hit a victim in the intersection hard enough to kill that individual," said Brynn Jacobson.  "Then the defendant left the scene then returned back to the scene, smelled of alcohol on her breath, as well as her person, admitted she had been consuming alcohol. And then refused the voluntary field sobriety test."

She asked that bail be set at $500,000.

Then Hafzalla's uncle spoke, pleading for her release to the extensive network of friends and family in the courtroom.

"Her boss is here," said Girgis Hafzalla. "Her friends are here. And of course, her dad, who is distraught, is behind me."

The first time KIRO 7 saw Hafzalla was Sunday night, after she returned to the scene of the fatal accident.

Eyewitnesses said when she struck 62-year-old Donelle Yelli, she got out of her car to check on her. But then she took off.  She returned some 43 minutes later.  A half hour after that, she was placed in handcuffs and arrested.

According to prosecutors, this is Hafzalla's second DUI.  The first was reduced to a charge of negligence.  Based on that, the judge set bail at $200,000. Afterwards, her family declined to talk to reporters.

KIRO 7 spoke by telephone to the victim's son.  He said he was too distraught to talk in person.

He said he talked to his mother just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday.  An hour and a half later, she was dead.

Yelli had lived at the Greenwood House for about eight years.  It is a group home for formerly homeless women.

Monday night, people living in the house told KIRO 7 that as a senior resident, Yelli took it upon herself to help and mentor the newcomers.

One resident described Yelli as the "heart and soul" of Greenwood House.

Top stories on KIRO7.com

Comments on this article