The man charged in connection with a fatal hit and run case has been released on a $15,000 bail.
Christian Hernandez, 25, appeared in the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay Wednesday for a bail hearing. Police charged Hernandez with impaired driving and failure to remain at the scene of an accident in connection with the death of 45-year-old Richard Carmichael. He was struck by a vehicle and killed on the night of Dec. 19, 2010.
Hernandez has remained in custody since his arrest in December.
Justice of the Peace Bernard Caron released Hernandez on the conditions that he surrendered his passport, stayed with his fiancée’s mother in Thunder Bay, stayed away from alcohol and bars, reported to police and obeyed a court-mandates curfew.
Caron also released him on the condition that his fiancée’s mother and her boyfriend paid a fee of $7,500 and would provide an additional $7,500 if he didn’t meet or follow the outlined conditions.
Assistant Crown attorney David MacKenzie opposed Hernandez’s released on the grounds that he could potentially flee to his home country of Mexico and possibly re-offend. The release could also disturb the publics’ perception of justice, he added.
Defence Attorney Calvin Barry, who took over the case from Chris Watkins, argued that without his passport he couldn’t leave the country and that his client intended to marry in June.
"We`ll have to see what the justice does after reviewing all the evidence," Barry said.
"He seems like a good candidate for release and he has a lot of community supervision, a lot of people that are vouching for his roots in the community.
“I hope the justice can fashion a release that protects the public but allows him to get back to work and dispute these allegations."
Hernandez’s bail hearing was placed in limbo after the Crown argued that defence attorney Chris Watkins, who originally represented the defendant, had a conflict of interest with the case. Watkins represented Carmichael about 10 years ago, but the defence argued that he had no recollection of the case.
Justice Joyce Pelletier agreed with the Crown and removed Watkins from the case on Monday.
Hernandez is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 18.