A judge reduced a vehicular manslaughter charge filed against an Ontario man from a felony to a misdemeanor today at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing.
Jose Mariscal, 25, is accused by prosecutors of leaving the scene after running over a 19-year-old Ontario woman Aug. 15.
Liliana Martinez was crossing an unmarked area of Temple Avenue near Scoreboards sports bar after 11 p.m. when she was struck by Mariscal. Martinez died Aug. 27.
In addition to the manslaughter charge, Mariscal faces a felony hit-and-run charge and a misdemeanor for driving without a valid license.
His defense attorney, Crashawn Jackson, said Mariscal has a valid license from Mexico. He had arrived in the United States about two months earlier on a work visa, Jackson said.
Judge Robert Martinez reduced the manslaughter charge because he said Mariscal did not demonstrate “gross negligence” the night of the collision.
Mariscal was driving under the speed limit, he was not drunk or on drugs, and there was no evidence he was aware one of his headlights may have been faulty, Martinez said.
“I think it’s ordinary negligence,” Martinez said.
The judge reduced Mariscal’s bail to $50,000 from $100,000. Mariscal remains in custody and is scheduled to be re-arraigned on the charges Nov. 13.