Courts to Determine Dangerousness of Man Charged in Fatal Motorcycle Crash

The New Bedford District Court, in New Bedford, MA, has scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Patrick Coelho, 37 of Dartmouth. A dangerousness hearing is essentially a bail hearing where the judge determines the amount of bail for the defendant based on the potential safety of the victim and/or the community — the more dangerous the defendant, the higher the bail.

Patrick Coelho is a repeat drunk driver who was on probation for robbing a 74-year-old woman when he fatally struck motorcyclist, Michael A. Powers, on Monday, August 1, 2011. Not only did he hit Powers he sped off with Powers on the hood of his car and his motorcycle pinned underneath. Powers eventually fell off the hood of the Mercedes and witnesses came to his aid and called paramedics. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

At the time of the accident, Coelho was speeding and running red lights on a stretch of road with an elementary school and a middle school within miles of each other.  After he hit Powers, Coelho continued speeding, ran another red light and hit a Toyota Corolla. Luckily, the driver of the Corolla only sustained minor injuries.

He fled the scene of the second accident on foot and the police quickly caught up with him. He denied driving the car even though the police found him with a set of Mercedes car keys as well a pint-sized bottle of vodka. Police also found two “nip” bottles of vodka on his person, one empty, and an empty nip bottle inside the Mercedes.

The icing on the cake is that the car belonged to Coelho’s parents and that he had taken it without their permission.

I’m not sure what the judge is going to say, but I imagine his bail will be high.

Metier Law Firm – Denver Accident Attorney

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