Tel Aviv Court Convicts Man in 2008 Hit-and-run Death

Shai Simon convicted in death of Meital Ahronson and of causing grievous bodily harm to her friend.

A Tel Aviv court on Sunday convicted Shai Simon of manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Meital Ahronson in 2008.

Simon, 27, was also found guilty by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court of causing grievous bodily harm to Ahronson's friend, Mali Yazdi, as well as abandoning an injured person.

Shalom Yemini, 31, who was in the vehicle with Simon at the time of the incident, was acquitted of manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm but was found guilty of abandoning an injured person.

Ahronson and Yazdi were hit by a Toyota SUV driven by Simon as they crossed Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv in October 2008. Ahronson died and Yazdi was seriously injured.

The trial of Simon and Yemini took many twists concerning the question of who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

At the start of the case, the prosecution argued that Yemini was driving while Simon was sitting in the passenger seat of the SUV. But the prosecution later asked to change the indictment, placing Simon behind the wheel.

Shortly before the accident, the two were stopped by police in the Tel Aviv Port before fleeing in a SUV that belonged to their friend Victor Lavi.

Both Simon and Yemini accused the other of driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. Simon also said that his family was threatened in an effort to dissuade him from testifying against Yemini, who has a past criminal record.