An anonymous reader sent me the following email this morning.
In case it slipped under your radar, yesterday Fire Captain John D. Hines entered a preliminary plea of not guilty to three of his felony charges in the hit-and-run of of Jeffrey Gordon. A judge then inexplicably denied the prosecutor’s request to increase the bail amount fivefold to $250,000, which incidentally was the amount of the arrest warrant issued on April 26th. Hines has retained a bulldog of an attorney with a great deal of experience in keeping dangerous drivers on the streets.
Hines’ EMT certificate, #E030577, has not been revoked, and probably is not under review.
The writer goes on to note that Hines is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 17th.
And yes, it did slide under my radar, even though I’ve been following this case and scan the news for anything bike-related several times a day. So a big thanks for forwarding this information.
When I went back to look again after receiving the email, I found a number of stories like this one in the Contra Costa Times, each containing the same news release, virtually word for word, about Hines arraignment for running down a cyclist, then hitting the gas and fleeing the scene. And adding little to the story beyond what you see above.
Credit then, to the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, which took the time to dig a little deeper into the story — including noting, as we speculated, that Hines reportedly had checked himself into rehab following his initial arrest.
No doubt at the suggestion of the afore mentioned bulldog attorney, Vince Tucci, in the hopes of getting leniency from the court.
Hines faces a maximum of six years and eight months if convicted on the felony DUi and hit-and-run charges; two hours after the collision, his blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit of .08.
“Instead of staying to render aid, he left the victim like common road kill in a pool of blood, and fled the scene…it is egregious,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said last week. “It’s 1 in the afternoon, he’s three times the legal limit. He’s a firefighter, no less, someone whose job it is to aid people in medical distress. It’s not some 18-year-old kid who had too much to drink. He knows better. He should know better.”
He’s released on just $50,000 bail, after the request to increase bail to the same $250,000 amount in the arrest warrant was denied.