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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 1:15 am | Fair 41º


Teen Driver in Fatal Santa Maria Crash Returns to Juvenile Court

Armed with many letters of support on Friday, the attorney representing a teenager charged in connection with a fatal traffic accident on East Donovan Road last month asked that Probation Department staff prepare  a “suitability report.”

Billy Redell represents a Pioneer Valley High School student charged in Santa Maria Juvenile Court with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.

The teen, his parents and Redell attended the pre-trial hearing and were accompanied by a small army of supporters Friday afternoon. 

Santa Maria police said Breanna Rodriguez and the teen boy, both 17 years old, participated in an impromptu street race Jan. 30 after leaving a basketball game at Pioneer Valley High School. 

Rodriguez, a Righetti High School senior, lost control of her vehicle, which slammed into a light pole.

She had critical injuries and later died at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Redell said he had many letters to submit to the court to serve as character references, but Judge Arthur Garcia said those should be given to the Probation Department and not him.

The suitability report will involve gathering information about the teen’s history, including education, family, criminal history, education and more. 

By all accounts, both teens were top students and active in their schools. 

Garcia scheduled the next hearing in this case for March 6. 

The teen driver was held in Juvenile Hall for several days, but was released under house arrest, restricting his activities to attending school and banning him from having friends visit him at home.

The defense attorney Friday asked the judge to modify the house arrest rules to allow the teen to participate in school sports.

“He can do his sports,” Garcia said, and also approved the youth attending church services with his parents. 

During the teen's first court appearance, Rodriguez's mother pleaded for mercy for the boy, noting the girl wouldn't want someone else to suffer for her actions.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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