A 16-year-old driver in a crash on state Route 52 that killed two of his passengers made his first appearance in juvenile court Friday morning.
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The attorney for Zach Bishop entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. Bishop was charged with three felonies -- two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and one count of engaging in a speed contest causing injuries.
Bishop turned himself in to authorities Thursday after being notified that an arrest warrant had been issued for him in connection with the April 4 crash.
Defense attorney Jim Dicks argued Bishop should be released on house arrest.
"The reason he shouldn't be in custody is because he's a 16-year-old child who is not charged with doing anything intentional; the allegation is that he did something negligently," said Dicks.
Dicks said Bishop is in medical isolation where he is left alone to think about his friends who died.
"He's hurt, he's got a cast on his hand, he's in isolation in a juvenile hall, he's in a 6-by-6 room 24 hours a day; he's not having any contact with anyone," said Dicks.
Authorities said Bishop and an 18-year-old motorist, Michael S. Johnson, were racing at speeds of up to 100 mph on eastbound state Route 52 when the younger of the two lost control of his Volkswagen Passat and crashed, killing 16-year-old Jayli Campbell and 18-year-old Anthony Foreman.
Bishop's 15-year-old girlfriend, Charlotte McQuillen, spent five days in a coma.
Prosecutors are recommending the Santana High School junior be charged as an adult.
"The circumstances and gravity of this are catastrophic so we feel there should be a judicial review," said Deputy District Attorney Minaz Bhayani.
Bhayani also told Juvenile Court Judge Browder Willis that Bishop was cited in February for driving more than 90 mph on state Route 125. Since he did not learn from that violation, Bhayani argued he should be kept in detention for the safety of himself and the community.
Bishop maintains the night of the crash the accelerator of his car became stuck when he was trying to pass another driver.
According to a preliminary investigation by the CHP, there was no mechanical defect, but the prosecutor said further testing was still being conducted.
Willis ordered the boy detained at Juvenile Hall and set a status conference for May 15.
Johnson pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other counts. He has an April 26 preliminary hearing scheduled.
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