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Court hearing continued for Kent man charged with Panther Lake vehicular homicide
An 18-year-old Kent man charged with vehicular homicide had a court hearing continued to Nov. 21 in connection with the death of Kent motorcyclist Aug. 22 in the Panther Lake area.
Justin Jerald Cordova had a hearing continued from Nov. 7, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. At the hearing, attorneys could again ask for more time to prepare the case or a trial date could be set.
Cordova pleaded not guilty to the charge Sept. 6. Cordova remains in the county jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $100,000.
If convicted of vehicular homicide, Cordova faces a sentencing range of six to 8 1/2 years under a new state law that took effect in June. The previous sentencing range was 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years.
Prosecutors allege that Cordova had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent and traveled at high speed in a 1986 Nissan coupe eastbound Aug. 22 in the 12100 block of Southeast 223rd Drive when his car reportedly crossed the centerline and collided with a westbound 2006 Suzuki motorcycle driven by David Daniel at about 6:44 a.m. Aug. 22, according to charging papers. Daniel died at the scene.
Witnesses reported that Cordova had been going an estimated 65 mph on Southeast 223rd Drive just prior to the accident. They described the car as going "freeway speed." The posted speed is 25 mph in the residential neighborhood.
Cordova told Kent Police officers that he had been drinking Red Bull and Jaegermeister at about 11 the previous night. He said he was going about 45 mph and didn't see the motorcycle. Cordova submitted to a portable breath test that indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent, above the 0.02 level to cite a minor for a DUI and the 0.08 level for adults.
Cordova has prior convictions for third-degree assault and obstructing in 2010, according to charging papers. He also had an unspecified alcohol offense in 2011.