Patterson Police Chief Marc Nuno this morning announced the arrest of longtime resident and current City Council member Cynthia Mathews-Homen on a charge of section 32 of the California Penal Code, accessory after the fact, in the felony hit and run accident that occurred on Friday, May 31.
Abel Edward Lemas, 51, of Modesto, has already been arrested on a charge of felony hit and run in the case.
Homen, 57, was arrested while leaving her home about 7:30 this morning, Nuno said.
Bail has been set at $25,000.
Around 9:00 p.m. on the night of May 31, Homen got into a vehicle allegedly driven by Abel Edward Lemas, 51, of Modesto. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which crashed into a ditch in the vicinity of Highway 33 and South First Street. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, the driver had fled.
Once police had identified Lemas as the possible driver in the case, Nuno asked the Irrigator to post his picture online. The community responded, sharing the Facebook post more than 60 times. Less than 12 hours after it went up, police had established contact with him. Less than 24 hours from the post, Lemas, who has what Nuno has called a “criminal history,” was arrested.
Interest in this case has been significant, and Nuno on Saturday asked the community to be patient as his department continued its investigation.
Nuno declined to say what specific evidence prompted Homen’s arrest. However, he has said the investigation included video surveillance, DNA testing, and possibly cell phones.
The case is being turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Nuno said that process “could take a while.”
The Irrigator continues to follow this case, and will provide updates as they are available.