(WMC) - A sheriff's deputy recruit accused of a hit-and-run accident that happened nearly one year ago, suddenly stopped driving his pick-up truck sometime last year, neighbors say.
Hunter Queen, 24, is locked up in Shelby County Jail on a $40,000 bond. He is charged with reckless homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
Investigators say Queen hit and killed Jessika Cavazos, 34, and Derrick Cross, 37, on August 18 at 3:15 a.m. on I-40 near the Warford Street exit. Investigators say he was driving a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500.
"I used [to see] him in it all the time and then one day I didn't see it no more. And I said, 'He must've gotten another truck,'" neighbor Raymond Presley said. "Sure enough he did. It was a Chevrolet black truck. Seemed like an alright guy to me. I never knew anything wrong."
Presley says police spent hours on his street in Lakeland Thursday afternoon and towed away the Dodge Ram after removing it from the garage of Queen's house. Presley also told WMC Action News 5 that Queen told him he was a United States Marine who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Shelby County Sheriff's Office says Queen has been fired. He was a recruit in training to be a sheriff's deputy. His class is scheduled to graduate from SCSO's academy in September.
A spokesman for the sheriff's office says Queen signed up to be a recruit in early 2013, in March or April.
Cavazos' mother says WMC Action News 5's story from early June generated the tip that cracked the case.