VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — A suspected drunk driver accused of killing a Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy was free on bail Friday afternoon despite attempts by a prosecutor to seek an increase in his bail.
Citing an increased risk to safety as well as an increased flight risk, the District Attorney’s office Friday sought an increase in Kevin Hogrefe’s bail from $500,000 to $1.2 million during a hearing.READ MORE: Former LBUSD Safety Officer Charged With Murder In Death Of Mona Rodriguez
Hogrefe posted bail Friday, a day after the 25-year-old from Camarillo entered a not guilty plea to murder charges in a Ventura County court. In addition to murder charges, he faces one count of felony hit-and-run, according to police.
“Shortly before the arraignment, the defendant was giving an interview to a newspaper and in that interview, he made several admissions and provided information that is in part the basis for this motion,” Rebecca Day, the senior deputy district attorney, said in court.
Day claimed the new information came from an article in the Ventura County Star publication.
KCAL9’s Amy Johnson says the reporter interviewed Hogrefe about the early Tuesday morning accident in which he is accused of driving under the influence when he allegedly struck and killed Sheriff’s deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko along the 101 Freeway in Camarillo.
The article quotes Hogrefe as saying, in part: “I would do anything for the family. I know they probably hate me because I took their dad. I put myself in their shoes, but I ask people to put themselves in my shoes.”
In the article, Hogrefe also reportedly stated that he was at the Clubhouse Sports Bar & Grill in Camarillo prior to the accident and allegedly drank seven beers but was never cut-off by the bartender.READ MORE: Parolee, Ironwood State Prison Inmate Charged In More Than $500K EDD Fraud Scheme
No one would comment at the establishment Friday but the bar was quoted in the newspaper as stating that Hogrefe’s bill totaled $13. They also reportedly said he left the bar an hour before the crash.
“This is an ongoing investigation and the information has been developed, certainly if I had this information yesterday at the arraignment, I would have made this motion at that time,” Day said.
Defense attorney Justin Tuttle countered: “It’s absolutely outrageous that we’re here today. Just yesterday, we were here on this particular case and it was the People’s position that bail should be set at $500,000 and nothing has changed. Nothing of any type of material fact has changed in this particular case.”
Tuttle contends that the bail increase is bias to his client.
“This particular case is essentially a witch-hunt. For the People to come in yesterday, ask for $500,000 bail, be surprised that my client made it and now to kind of trump up this declaration,” Tuttle said.
While the judge denied the increased bail, the court added an alcohol-monitor to Hogrefe’s ankle-monitoring bracelet.MORE NEWS: 'I Can't Believe It's Been Three Years:' Community Prepares To Remember, Reflect On Tree Of Life Shooting
Hogrefe is due back in court on Jan. 14. Kostiuchenko’s funeral is set for Tuesday.