Police knew who the driver was, spoke to him at the scene and wrote their arrest report in 2015.
But for reasons that were not completely clear by Friday's deadline, Boynton Beach police did not arrest Terry Derilus, 27, until Thursday -- nearly six years after the violent crash that decapitated a homeless veteran riding a bicycle.
"That's a question for the PBC State Attorney's Office," a police spokeswoman said. "They are the ones who make the ultimate decisions on if and when someone is charged."
A spokesman for the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office said it was a matter of additional fact finding, scrutiny and examination.
"These cases often involve lengthy investigations and this particular case required additional supplemental investigative work," he said.
Derilus and his passenger seemed in a state of shock on Jan. 31, 2015 when police spoke to them at the intersection of West Boynton Beach Boulevard and Knuth Road, west of Congress Ave, a police report said.
It was nearly 9 p.m. on a Friday when William Tebbetts, 58, pedaled into the path of Derilus' rental car, a 2013 Ford Taurus, while crossing Knuth Road from north to south at the intersection, police said.
The veteran was likely on his way to a homeless encampment where he was known to stay on the southeast side of the intersection, authorities said.
Traffic homicide investigators estimated that Derilus was going 91 mph at the time of impact with Tebbetts. They were in a 45 mph zone that was clearly posted, police reported.
The crash hurled Tebbetts onto the hood of the car. His head smashed through the windshield on the passenger's side and it was severed from his body, police said.
Derilus' 21-year-old passenger, LaShanna Scott's face and shirt were smeared with blood and spattered with glass fragments. She initially, and spontaneously, told police she had been the driver.
The physical evidence did not support that possibility, an officer at the scene told Scott and Derilus.
Derilus confessed to being the driver, estimated that he was going about 55 mph and said "he never saw the person" before hitting him, a probable cause report said.
The 2015 probable cause report concluded with a finding that Derilus had operated a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of Tebbetts and caused his death.
And that's where the court and legal trail documenting the case ends -- until Derilus' arrest on Thursday.
His listed defense lawyer did not respond to an email seeking comment.
At a first-appearance hearing Friday morning on a charge of vehicular homicide, a Palm Beach County judge set Derilus' bond at $2,000.
His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Dec. 19.
This article is written by Tonya Alanez from Sun Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.