Prosecutors are refusing to enter into discussions of a possible plea bargain in the case of a Santa Rosa man accused of killing a 4-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crosswalk crash.
Prosecutors said Wednesday they are unwilling to negotiate with Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, who is charged in the Aug. 18 death of Christopher "Buddy" Rowe.
Deputy District Attorney Dan Cohan declined in court Wednesday to meet privately with Garcia's lawyer, Walter Rubenstein, to discuss the charges, which carry a three-year prison sentence if he is convicted.
Rubenstein asked for an in-chambers meeting with Cohan and Judge Ken Gnoss to avoid discussions in front of the boy's parents, who were in the audience.
Rubenstein suggested the case may not be so clear cut. Outside of court he said he hoped for a plea bargain that would limit Garcia's jail time to one year. He said recent manslaughter cases were negotiated privately.
But it appears the case will go to trial. Garcia has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Both sides will appear Thursday before Judge Virginia Marcoida who is expected to schedule the case for a preliminary hearing.
Garcia, a pizza parlor cook, is accused of hitting Rowe as he walked in a West Ninth Street crosswalk with his mother and sisters.
Police said Garcia drove away but was arrested later in the day after his car was identified by a witness.
He's remained in jail without bail on a federal immigration hold. Court records show he was convicted of driving without a license in 2010. A week before the fatal crash, he was cited again for the same offense.
Shelters for Pawnee fire evacuees
Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake St., Lower Lake, is the official shelter established for people evacuating from the Pawnee fire. It is equipped to handle animals.
The Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge, 15900 E. Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks, is not authorized by the Office of Emergency Services but is also sheltering fire evacuees, mostly people in campers and RVs who want their animals with them.
There is an authorized Lake County animal services station in an open field at Highway 53 and Anderson Ridge Road in Lower Lake.