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PREVIOUS COVERAGE | Man charged in fatal chase

BRADENTON — A man charged with causing a crash that killed his wife’s lover bonded out of jail today, according to jail staff.

Blair Hohmeister, 27, faces charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving with serious bodily injury and five counts of reckless driving with property damage, according to Bradenton Police Department arrest papers.

“I’m finding probable cause for all of that,” said Judge Doug Henderson in court Friday morning at first appearances when Hohmeister appeared in court via a camera at the jail. “There’s going to be some issues here.”

Hohmeister caught his wife having sex with 35-year-old Dr. Jason Evangelista in a Dodge Ram pickup truck at about 11:15 p.m. May 5 in the parking lot behind City Hall, 100 Old Main St., according to police.

Nichole Hohmeister, 24, and Evangelista, a 35-year-old ophthalmologist, both worked at The Eye Depot, 426 Manatee Ave. W.

Henderson set a $10,500 bail for all of Hohmeisters’ charges.

“We have many questions for Bradenton Police Department. We are hopeful they will have good answers for the gaping holes in the probable cause affidavit,” said Mark Lipinski, a criminal defense attorney representing Hohmeister.

Blair Hohmeister followed Evangelista in a Honda Accord, in a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph along Manatee Avenue West, 26th Street West and 17th Avenue West, according to police.

Reports state Hohmeister ran Evangelista’s truck off the road several times throughout the chase.

“It was simply Dr. Evangelista driving reckless. My client was following thinking she may have been victim of a sexual assault,” Lipinski said in court.

Hohmesiter initially reacted by grabbing the pickup in the parking lot as Evangelista slipped into the driver seat and began to speed away, Lipinski said.

Hohmeister was dragged about 103 feet, Lipinski said. He also claims Nichole Hohmeister, who was a passenger in Evangelista’s truck, was begging to get out of the truck.

“We find a supreme irony that if Dr. Evangelista was truly in fear, he didn’t stop at Bradenton Police Department which was no more than 50 yards away when he passed it,” Lipinski said.

Hohmeister lost control of the Honda just before the intersection of 17th Avenue West and 43rd Street West and rolled the vehicle several times. He had road rash injuries from getting dragged by the truck, Lipinski said.

Evangelista’s pickup continued through the intersection until it struck a cement drain culvert and rolled and flipped several times, according to the report.

Evangelista suffered “catastrophic” head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the report. Nichole Hohmeister suffered a serious leg injury and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

Evangelista left behind four sons, ages 6 to 12. His divorce was finalized with his wife just days before the crash. The Hohmeisters have a young daughter together.

“Regardless of the circumstances surrounding this crash, Jason Evangelista did not deserve to die, and all of the children involved on both sides will forever be affected,” said Bradenton Police Traffic Sgt. Brian Thiers.

Police are waiting on results from the Medical Examiner’s Office on whether Evangelista had alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. Police believe Hohmeister was sober.

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