18-year-old involved in 2010 vehicular homicide is back in court with new charge
Apr 19, 2012 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
An 18-year-old who received probation in a vehicular homicide case is back in court with a new charge, and if convicted, he could face jail this time around.
Ramius Hardiman, of Cedar Rapids, was charged last month with assault causing bodily injury, a serious misdemeanor, and fifth-degree criminal mischief, a simple misdemeanor. He is accused of shooting Jerrold Hendren with a BB gun, causing injury, March 16, at Wiley Boulevard and Wilson Avenue SW, according to a criminal complaint. Hardiman also is accused of firing the BB gun at the windshield of Hendren's car, causing less than $200 damage.
Assistant County Attorney Nic Scott filed a revocation of probation, but the probation violation won't be addressed by the court until after the misdemeanor charges are adjudicated.
Scott said Tuesday that many times, a defendant will be sent to prison on a violation, but a judge could also hold the defendant in contempt of a court order and allow him/her to remain on probation.
"It really depends on the underlying charge and the nature of the probation violation," Scott said.
If Hardiman is convicted on the recent charges, he faces up to one year and 30 days in jail. Hardiman remains in the Linn County Jail on a $3,300 bond. An arraignment hasn't been set at this time.
Hardiman was originally charged in 2010 with two counts of vehicular homicide after he was involved in a crash that killed Jose Mendoza, 17, of Cedar Rapids. Hardiman made an Alford plea to amended and substituted trial information charging him with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Scott said after Hardiman's sentencing in October 2011 the plea agreement was made because there were problems with witnesses making inconsistent statements.
Hardiman's attorney Victoria Cole said after sentencing there was also evidence that someone else may have been driving the car that night.
Scott said Tuesday he recommended probation on the involuntary manslaughter based on Hardiman's age, lack of criminal history and he also considered Mendoza's family wishes. The families knew each other and Mendoza's parents supported probation for Hardiman, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, Hardiman's alcohol concentration level was .06 when his blood specimen was taken at the hospital 2-1/2 hours after the crash. There were bottles of alcohol found in the car and at the crash scene, according to the complaint.
According to a police report, Mendoza was wearing his seat belt in the back seat of the car when the driver lost control and the car rolled and hit a utility pole in the 3300 block of Cottage Grove Avenue SE. Mendoza died later at a hospital.
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