The delays in the trial for two Canyon Country men accused of reckless driving that led to the death of Dakota Demott prompted the District Attorney’s Office to seek a grand jury indictment, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.
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“They were indicted (Thursday) and arraigned,” she said. “They were indicted on the same charges.”
Colt Doherty and Thomas Vensko, both 20, are due in court Tuesday on murder charges. They are accused of street racing Jan. 10, 2012.
Doherty lost control of his car, crashing into a tree near Sand Canyon Road, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies, who presented the case to the District Attorney’s Office.
“If the case drags on and on and on, (the new indictment) takes precedent,” Robison said.
A series of delays in the long-running case prompted the prosecutor to seek a grand jury indictment last week in an effort to speed up a pretrial hearing, she said. Both pleaded not guilty.
“They’ll just set a new date, they’ll announce that they’re ready for trial, or they’ll set a new pretrial date,” Robison said.
On Tuesday, the pretrial hearing will begin.
The pair’s first arraignment on the charges was Aug. 9, and it was then continued to Aug. 10 and then Aug. 20 Sept. 19 and Oct 24. There was another hearing in November and then Dec. 14, they pleaded not guilty.
Colt Doherty’s bail was raised from $1 million to $2.23 million, according to court records. He’s been held at Twin Towers Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles since his original arraignment.
The second indictment, which raised his bail, will take the place of a superseding indictment, Robison said. The new, repeat charges will be dropped Tuesday, she said.
Thomas Vensko was held on $1,000,000 bail, but his bail was reduced to $100,000 and he posted it in December.
The case is being prosecuted by Ruby Arias-Giroux, deputy district attorney, is prosecuting the case.
The case will be heard by Judge David Gelfound on Tuesday in Department D at Los Angeles Superior Court in San Fernando.
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Source: Santa Clarita News