CAYUGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — An undocumented immigrant accused of drunk driving and killing Mark Knapp, a Weedsport man, while riding a tractor in November, was in court on Wednesday.
Last month, Heriberto Perez-Velasquez pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated DWI in Weedsport Village Court. Wednesday, he was in Cayuga County Court for a bail hearing.
Knapp’s family, Perez-Velasquez’s girlfriend and a friend were also in attendance.
Perez-Velasquez’s lawyer, Rome Canzano, said he advised his client to request bail to avoid potential deportation and, therefore, remain in local custody. Under New York’s new bail reform law, Perez-Velasquez would have qualified for release, but as an undocumented immigrant, if he were released, he would have risked being taken into ICE custody.
The prosecution believed Perez-Velasquez was a flight risk because of his illegal status and pushed for a bail of $250,000, but Judge Thomas Leone went beyond that amount, setting bail at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.
Perez-Velasquez is due back in court on February 11, 2020.
More from NewsChannel 9:
- WATCH: Some light snow overnight, localized lake effect for Tuesday
- President Trump’s final hours in office expected to be non-traditional
- NewsChannel 9 working on transmitter, will shut down for brief period early Tuesday morning
- Gray’s 17 points lead Florida State past Louisville 78-65
- ‘Tired of being divided’: Garth Brooks to sing at Biden inaugural
For more local news, follow Rob Hackford on Twitter @Robert_Hackford