VALPARAISO | An 18-year-old Union Township man pleaded not guilty Friday and asked for a jury trial to address accusations he is responsible for a fatal hit-and-run accident April 6 in South Haven.
Ryan Cash, who is out on a $1,000 cash bond, made an initial court appearance before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa along with defense attorney Ken Elwood.
He also was joined in court by a large group of supporters.
Alexa scheduled a trial for Aug. 19, with preliminary hearings June 14 and July 19.
Cash is charged with a Class C felony count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, which carries a potential sentence of two to eight years behind bars.
He is accused of causing the death of Brian Hagerman.
Cash reportedly told police he was riding around with friends when they picked up a female, who wanted to go the Hagermans' South Haven house because she believed a young resident there had damaged her property.
A male passenger of the car got out and smashed a window at the house, police said. When Cash realized he drove away down a dead-end street, he told police he approached a group that had gathered in the road and a man, later identified as Hagerman, jumped on the hood of the car.
Cash said he continued driving until Hagerman rolled off the hood of the car, police said. Cash then fled the scene and no one in the car called police or an ambulance to help the man.
Others told police they saw the vehicle drive up to Hagerman, back up and then drive into him. They said Hagerman went up on the hood of the vehicle and fell off, causing several serious injuries.
Police traced the vehicle to Cash.