Teen accused in fatal hit and run could be tried as an adult

A 17-year-old accused of leaving the scene of a fatal crash could be tried as an adult.

The State has filed a petition to waive the teen to adult court. A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for April 14.

A request to release the teen from juvenile detention was denied Wednesday.

Magistrate Joel Gabrielse said the teen’s failure to turn himself into police after the crash showed he did not want to face consequences for his alleged actions.

The 17-year-old is charged with failure to stop after an accident resulting in death, which in adult court would be a felony.

The charge stems from a crash that happened March 24 on State Road 933, near Auten Road. A driver hit and killed Michael Marks. Another pedestrian, David Fordyce, tried to wave away traffic from Marks’ body.

The teen allegedly hit Fordyce and drove away from the scene. Fordyce died from his injuries.

A tip from Crime Stoppers led police to Niles the next day where they found the teen and the car involved in the crash.

Drug test results show the teen had marijuana in his system when he was taken to the Juvenile Justice Center last week. It is not clear if the teen used marijuana before or after the crash.

The defense requested the teen be released from detention so he could complete coursework and graduate from high school in May.

“It was an accident that had tragic results,” said defense attorney Amy Griner. “He didn’t set out to harm someone.”

The teen’s parents both spoke in court and promised to monitor their son.

The teen also addressed the court.

"My biggest priority is to graduate on time," he said.

Still, Gabrielse did not feel there was enough information to grant the release. He said took into consideration the teen’s drug use, the teen’s failure to turn himself into police and the nature of the offense.

Another has been scheduled for April 14 at 1:30 p.m. to determine if the teen will be charged in juvenile or adult court.

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