Judge John Martin charged Patrick Roraff and Brett Morin with one count each of Penal Code, 192(c)(1), gross vehicular manslaughter, for the death of professional cyclist Jorge Alvarado in an arraignment at the San Bernadino Superior Court on Wednesday, June 23. Both defendants entered a plea of not guilty.
The court released the two men under the condition that they give up their drivers license. They will return to court for a status conference on July 15 at 8:30am. The maximum term that each defendant could be sentenced is six years in state prison, according to supervising deputy district attorney Victor Stull.
“Both defendants were arraigned this morning,” Stull said. “The next hearing could take only a matter of minutes or much longer. There is simply no way to predict. It will not be a formal hearing. For instance it is very unlikely testimony will be taken or evidence submitted. This is merely a hearing to see when the parties will be ready to conduct the preliminary hearing.”
The two 18-year-olds from San Bernadino were involved in a car crash that killed professional cyclist Jorge Alvarado on April 8 in Highland, California. It was alledged that three Redlands East Valley High School students were street racing in excess of 70 mph northbound along Greenspot Road. Roraff tried to pass the two other vehicles and lost control of his Honda Accord, swerved across traffic lanes and struck Alvarado, who was riding his bike in the southbound lane.
The 27-year-old cyclist was struck head on at 9:52am and died at the scene of the incident. Roraff and Morin were initially released and no charges were made until Friday, June 18. The third driver was not charged.
Alvarado was a native of Mexico, living in Ontario with his brother. He was racing with the US-based Bahati Racing Foundation Professional Cycling Team.
According to the Highland Community News, Roraff wrote a letter of apology to the family of the victim and told investigators, “I feel so stupid for even doing that, like trying to show off and trying to be – just stupid. I don’t know why I would do that. It’s just like – I wish I could go back and just change everything, but I can’t. I just want to say sorry to the family. I can’t believe I took away a life.”