By Lauren Smith
WOODLAND – Defendant Scott Ekoniak, charged with vehicular manslaughter at his arraignment hearing in Yolo County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon, maintains that the pedestrian he hit and killed “ran into me.”
On the evening of January 3, according to the prosecution, Ekoniak allegedly hit and killed a 66-year-old man who was walking along the highway on Olive Drive before driving away. The defendant was arrested in Sacramento on January 4 by Davis Police.
At his arraignment, Ekoniak stated that he and his dad plan to retain an attorney because “the guy ran into me.”
However, because there was no attorney present for him at the time of the arraignment, Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson was appointed to represent him until Ekoniak retains an attorney.
DPD Johnson argued that the defendant should be released on his own recognizance because he has no criminal history and can take public transportation to court, avoiding any driving issues.
Johnson further stated that to “satisfy public safety needs” the court could “outfit” the defendant with a GPS and SCRAM tracking device.
Yet, due to the severity of the allegations, Judge Tom Dyer set bail at $175,000 and scheduled the defendant’s preliminary hearing for Feb. 23 in Dept. 11 at 1:30 p.m.
Lauren Smith is a fourth year student at UC Davis, double majoring in Political Science and Psychology. She is from San Diego, California.
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