The man accused of killing a child in a crosswalk and failing to stop last week made his first court appearance Monday before a judge and with the grieving family of the boy looking on.
Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, postponed entering a plea Monday to three charges — felony hit and run causing a death, misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license in the death of 4-year-old Christopher "Buddy" Rowe.
The child died Friday morning, hours after surgery at Oakland Children's HospItal from injuries sustained in the collision.
Garcia's bail on the charges was $500,000 but his release from county jail was prevented by a federal immigration hold.
Garcia choked up when he was asked by Judge Ken Gnoss if he had a job and could afford his own lawyer. Garcia said through an interpreter that he worked at Joey's Pizza where he makes $10 an hour.
The owner of Joey's Original Pizza on Yulupa Avenue did not return calls Monday.
Gnoss agreed to postpone entry of plea to Aug. 30 at the request of Deputy Public Defender Lynne Stark-Slater.
Buddy Rowe's mother and father attended Monday's hearing, breaking down in tears as they approached the courtroom doors, where they got consoling hugs from friends.
They left after the hearing without making a comment, flanked by Deputy District Attorney Dan Cohan, police officers and victim advocates.
According to court records, Garcia an unlicensed driver, was convicted in 2010 of driving without a license. His conditional sentence issued by Judge Virginia Marcoida expired last month.
He was not held for possible deportation at his first offense. Cohan said Monday he did not know why.