Bristow has criminal convictions for drunken driving, drug offenses, assault by a prisoner, simple assault, theft, and burglary; he has also been cited for reckless driving, careless driving, speeding, improper passing, and fleeing a police officer, court records said. He was on parole at the time of this offense, Hogan said.
"The defendant fled the crash like a coward; he left Michael Orsini on the road to die," Hogan said. "With the defendant's criminal history and driving record, it was just a matter of time before he killed somebody."
Hogan said investigators determined from car parts found at the scene that Orsini was struck by a Chevrolet Cavalier. On Feb. 6, state police located an abandoned 1997 Cavalier on Route 30. The license plate had been removed and the car had substantial damage and a deployed air bag.
Investigators traced the car to Bristow, who was interviewed and said he had sold it to a drug dealer and did not know anything about the crash, Hogan said, adding that Bristow had abrasions consistent with the deployment of an air bag.
Police contacted friends and family of Bristow and reconstructed his movements leading up to the crash, which included driving to a Super Bowl party, where he drank alcohol, Hogan said. According to witnesses, Bristow left the party in his car but called to request a ride, saying he had run out of gas; the next day he said his car "blew up" and had been towed, Hogan said.
During a second police interview, Bristow gave a full, videotaped confession, Hogan said.
Bristow faces charges that include homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, and related offenses. He will remain in custody on a parole detainer and these charges, Hogan said. A preliminary hearing has not been scheduled yet.
Orsini was a 2004 graduate of Coatesville High School who worked as a logistics clerk at West Chester University, where he was also taking classes, according to his obituary. He enjoyed motorcycles, BMX biking, snowboarding, and rock climbing. His survivors included his companion, Amanda L. King, and their infant daughter, Isabella M. Orsini.
Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3815, email@example.com, or @brandywinebits on Twitter. Read her blog, "Chester County Inbox," at www.philly.com/chescoinbox