The Missoula man charged in a fatal drunken hit-and-run crash in June 2018 is set to change his plea next week.
Daniel Joseph Grady was arrested after Missoula police linked the pickup he was driving in the early hours of June 17, 2018, to the death of Rebecca Romero, 22, who had graduated from the University of Montana a month earlier.
On Aug. 1, Grady's defense attorney Bryan Tipp filed a motion to set a change-of-plea hearing, writing that the parties had reached a resolution. Tipp told the Missoulian on Tuesday he expects his client will plead guilty to the charge. He declined to comment further on Grady's decision to change his plea.
Prosecutors charged Grady with vehicular homicide while under the influence, along with negligent homicide — the initial charged filed against him — as an alternate choice for jurors had the matter gone to trial.
Missoula police found Romero dead near Lowell Elementary School at 2:30 a.m. on June 17, 2018. Grady was arrested hours later at an apartment complex on Russell Street after police matched a piece of broken headlight at the scene to his pickup. Those with Grady that night told police he was driving when the vehicle struck the woman, but no one reported the fatal collision, according to court records.
While authorities weren't able to draw a blood sample until several hours after the collision, an eventual lab analysis of Grady's blood showed cocaine, anti-anxiety medication and marijuana, according to court records.
In October, Grady was sent to an addiction treatment center in Billings, and has since returned from the program there.
Judge Leslie Halligan has granted the release of confidential criminal justice information to Romero's parents to prepare for a civil lawsuit. The nature of that suit could depend on the charge to which Grady pleads next week.
The change-of-plea hearing has been set for Aug. 14 in Missoula County District Court.