Judge sets bond for suspect in deadly Florida day care car crash

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 14, 2014 12:44 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A judge reinstated a $100,000 bond on Monday for a Florida man charged with leaving the scene of a car crash at an Orlando-area day care center that killed a four-year-old girl and injured 14 people, including one child who remains in critical condition.

Judge Jerry Brewer ordered Robert Corchado, 28, not to drive and ruled he must remain in Orange County where the accident occurred or in Seminole County, where Corchado lives with his mother and brothers and faces drug-related charges in a separate case.

Prosecutors said Corchado, who previously served two terms in state prison for drug and extortion convictions, faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

Corchado turned himself him on Thursday about 24 hours after the accident and he initially was held on a $100,000 bond attached to his arrest warrant.

Brewer revoked the bond on Friday to give prosecutors an opportunity to show that Corchado was a flight risk, but rejected their request for a $250,000 bond and a defense attempt to have it set at $7,500.

Corchado testified he has $5,000 in savings and no close relatives outside of central Florida where his wife and three children also live.

Corchado will not walk free even if he is able to post the bond. On Friday, a judge agreed to a request from prosecutors in neighboring Seminole County to revoke his bond pending the drug charges, according to court records.

Authorities believe Corchado was the driver of a Durango that triggered the crash on Wednesday by rear-ending another car as it slowed to turn into the daycare entrance near Orlando.

The second car, a Toyota Solara, jumped the curb before traveling through the parking lot and into the front of the daycare center, striking several children and stopping at the back of the building.

Corchado's lawyer, Daniel Tumarkin, argued that Corchado might not have realized the Solara hit the daycare center which was about 100 feet away from the initial collision, or that anyone was hurt.

"The reality is from the impact that the silver Durango was involved in, there was only minor damage and there is no showing that anybody was injured from that collision," Tumarkin said.

(Editing by Kevin Gray and David Gregorio)