UPDATE: court commissioner denies request to lower Sambath Pal's - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: court commissioner denies request to lower Sambath Pal's bond

Posted: Updated: May 07, 2014 11:06 PM
JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A Rock County court commissioner declined an appeal to lower Sambath Pal's bond Wednesday.

Pal, 24, is accused of driving his SUV into a group of motorcyclists on Easter Sunday in the Town of Harmony. He's charged with two counts of hit and run resulting in death after two bikers died in the crash.

After a preliminary hearing was set for May 16, Pal's defense attorney asked the court commissioner to lower his client's bond. Pal's lawyer said his client has lived in Janesville or just over the border in Illinois his whole life. He also said Pal has a son in the area, making it unlikely he would flee.

But the state said it has a "very strong" case against Pal. The prosecutor also said the state has evidence Pal used his phone to do research indicating he was seeking to leave the area between the time of the accident and his arrest four days later.

The court commissioner said Pal's bond will remain at $200-thousand. He remains in custody at the Rock County Jail.

The criminal complaint against Pal alleges he hit the two bikers after crossing the center line on Highway 14.

According to the criminal complaint, Pal was arrested after his father called police. His father had seen damage to the front end of the SUV Pal was driving and thought his son might have been responsible for the accident, the complaint alleges.

Among those in the courtroom Wednesday was Tim Tomann, a member of the board of director for motorcycle advocacy group ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc.

"You hit one biker, you hit all of us," Tomann said. "We understand how vulnerable we are out on the road."

Tomann also said he'll be watching the legal proceedings until the end.

"We're going to have people here to make sure the family is supported throughout," he said.

Pal's defense attorney declined to comment following Thursday's appearance.

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