Teen driver in double fatal crash released from jail

April 11, 2012 8:09:42 AM PDT
The 17-year-old driver arrested after a deadly collision with two bicyclists Saturday was released from jail Tuesday afternoon. Concord police say the teenager lost control of his SUV and hit and killed 41-year-old Solaiman Nuri and his 9-year-old daughter Hadessa. The district attorney told ABC7 the teenager would stay out of custody until his case is resolved, either by verdict or plea.

"In cases such as this, it is extremely important that a full and thorough investigation take place," said Dan Cabral, head of juvenile prosecutions in Contra Costa County. He says it's much more important to get the charges right in a case like this rather than to file them quickly.

"The police want to be very thorough in their investigation, they want to collect all the evidence, they want to collect, most likely, toxicology reports, they want to get the blood tested in an individual who was involved in a vehicular manslaughter, [and] they want to perhaps do an accident reconstruction," said Cabral.

That's why three days after his arrest, the teen driver has been released. ABC7 saw the accused driver arrive at his Concord home and before he went inside, ABC7 asked him about what happened that day, but he did not want to talk.

In the meantime, pain and loss linger. This memorial for the Nuri Family continues to grow. Tuesday evening, friends came to pray, place flowers, and express anger over what's happened.

"It's crazy because what he did tore a family apart, so I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent," said Rafie Melatyar, a family friend.

"It's an eye opener that young drivers should learn from this," said Deanna Sena, the driver's former neighbor.

"It breaks my heart to be completely honest with you," said Azita Munsof who knows the Nuri family through their involvement in youth soccer. She doesn't feel the driver should be released from jail. "I think he needs to pay for what he's done."

ABC7 is not naming the teenager. It's likely he will be charged as a juvenile with two counts of vehicular manslaughter. But whether those charges will be misdemeanors or felonies will be determined after police and prosecutors get the results of both toxicology tests and the boy's cellphone records.

"I don't know how the system works, especially because he's under age, but he should be charged," said Carmen Durante of Concord.

The Nuri family released the following statement: "We understand this will be a long process and have been made aware the driver might be released today. We know this country has a justice system put in place and we respect it. That is why our families moved here over 27 years ago."

Even if he's convicted of two counts of felony vehicular manslaughter, his stay in jail or prison could be relatively short. If he is convicted as a juvenile he would be held only until age 21, and if he's tried and convicted as an adult, he would perhaps serve a few years longer than that.

Funeral arrangements for the father and his 8-year-old daughter are set for Wednesday morning in Antioch.

The family has set up a memorial fund at the Wells Fargo branch at 4599 Clayon Road in Concord for anyone who would like to make donations. Donations can be made to the Soliaman and Hadessa Nuri Memorial Fund (account number 3268148529) at any Wells Fargo branch.


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