Celebration of life for Leilani Magno as hit-and-run suspect faces a judge

George Espinosa bail increased to $100.000
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 22:49:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- An outpouring of love for Leilani Magno Tuesday night; friends and relatives gathering to share their loss.

Last week, there was an emotional candlelight vigil for the 17 year old jogger who was killed when a hit and run driver veered onto the sidewalk and struck her.

Her family is still in shock.  An athlete and honor student about to leave for UC-Irvine and pre-med; she wanted to become a doctor. 

Her uncle Marcos Rico told 10News,  "She was a wonderful little girl; took CPR, I was her instructor, First Aid.  She cared about others."

George Espinosa is charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor involuntary vehicular manslaughter.  He could go to prison for five years, if convicted.

A tennis coach and instructor at Mater Dei Catholic High School and Eastlake Country Club; Espinosa visibly wept as his attorney told of 15 letters being written to the judge, vouching for his character.

Rico wasn't moved, though.

"If he had been sincere, he wouldn't have run away and taken a whole day to turn himself in. They were looking for him, on social media; trying to find him. He could have stayed there, call 911 and he didn't."

 Since Espinosa left the scene and didn't surrender until the next day, there are questions about possible impairment while driving.  Deputy district attorney Vincent Chen said detectives are still investigating.

"Hit and run, resulting in death as well as involuntary manslaughter; if anything comes out in the course of the ongoing investigation, we will amend the charges accordingly."

Judge Keri Katz doubled the bail to $100,000 and ordered that Espinosa remain under house arrest if he does make bail, and no driving.