Not guilty pleas in fatal hit and run

2012-04-10T12:15:00Z 2012-04-11T00:20:12Z Not guilty pleas in fatal hit and runBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | A higher-than-normal number of security officers were on hand Tuesday as pleas of not guilty were entered on behalf of a Portage man accused of a fatal hit and run.

Defense attorneys representing Reinaldo Figueroa III, 19, waived the reading of the two Class C felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death and reckless homicide.

A Sept. 17 trial was scheduled for before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, with preliminary hearings June 5 and July 24.

When defense attorney Clark Holesinger voiced interest in reducing Figueroa's bond, he was informed a request needs to be put in writing before a hearing will be scheduled.

Figueroa, being held at the jail on a $75,000 cash or surety bond, was rushed out of the courtroom ahead of the other inmates at the end of his short hearing.

Frank Ivey, 22, of Valparaiso, was killed April 2 while riding his mo-ped on County Road 700 North near County Road 500 West in Portage Township.

Authorities allege Figueroa hit Ivey and left him in the road, where another driver called police after running him over.

Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Bennett said Tuesday the second driver was not charged because she had stopped and contacted police.

"It is our position he was dead by the time she hit him," Bennett said.

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