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Bixby man accused of accelerating into man in Tulsa parking lot is charged with murder

Bixby man accused of accelerating into man in Tulsa parking lot is charged with murder

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Rivera 

A Bixby man was charged with murder in Tulsa County District Court on Wednesday on allegations that he purposefully drove his car into a man in a parking lot, rendering him brain dead.

Michael Anthony Rivera, 28, was detained for questioning at his parent's home on Sept. 8, the day after Juan Sanchez, 30, was struck by a car in a south Tulsa parking lot and left for dead, according to an arrest and booking report. 

Police learned that Rivera was angry with a relative of Sanchez's over supposedly stolen items, and ample witnesses spoke to officers, placing Rivera at the wheel of the car that hit Sanchez.  

“They said a dark colored car was driving slowly through the lot then picked up speed and aimed for the group that (Sanchez) was in and hit him with the car,” a report states.

Sanchez was pronounced brain-dead the next day. 

Rivera denied driving the car, which an acquaintance had borrowed from a parent, but footage from surveillance cameras in the area placed him in the driver's seat about the time of the crash, according to the report. 

Police say Rivera attempted to have the car fixed at a body shop before he returned it. 

He remained in the Tulsa County jail Wednesday in lieu of $1.5 million bail. 

Kelsy Schlotthauer

918-581-8455

kelsy.schlotthauer@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @K_Schlott 

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Staff Writer

I write because I care about people, policing and peace, and I believe the most informed people make the best decisions. I joined the Tulsa World in 2019 and currently cover breaking news. Phone: 918-581-8455

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