Teen Accused Of Causing Fatal New Year's Day Crash To Remain Locked Up

CBS4's Lauren Pastrana reports on Alex Garcia's court appearance.

Video Transcript

LAUREN PASTRANA: All new at 5:00, three months since a violent New Year's Eve crash claimed four young lives, the teenage driver investigators say is responsible now knows he will spend another three weeks locked up. Alex Garcia's attorney had hoped to get the 16-year-old out of juvenile detention. But today, the judge ruled against his release.

- A 16-year-old with a learner's permit, driving at a high rate of speed--

LAUREN PASTRANA: Police say that 16-year-old was Alex Garcia. He was in court Tuesday, a day after turning himself in at Florida Highway Patrol Headquarters in connection with a deadly New Year's Eve drive along West Flagler street near 79th Avenue that claimed the lives of four people in another car.

- Video surveillance footage of the intersection shows that the Hyundai stopped for the flashing red light before attempting to turn onto Flagler street. She waited at the intersection before attempting to turn. She was unable to make it across the intersection because the defendant was driving at such a high rate of speed and failed to slow down as required by flashing yellow lights.

- His vehicle T-boned the Hyundai.

LAUREN PASTRANA: Garcia appeared in court virtually Wednesday, his family watching with the help of an interpreter as the judge read the arrest affidavit. Authorities say Garcia and two other 16-year-olds were traveling at about 111 miles an hour at the time of the crash. All of them only had their learner's permits. A toxicology report found Garcia had drugs and alcohol in his system. Garcia's attorney asked for him to be placed on supervised release pending his next court hearing.

- We did not run from these charges. We did not--

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- --make it difficult for the government to put him into custody and face the law.

LAUREN PASTRANA: The victims were 21-year-old Yuhlia Barzaga, 22-year-old Christian Mohip, 21-year-old Andres Zacarias, and 21-year-old Jenser Salazar. Garcia is facing four counts of reckless vehicular homicide, four counts of DUI manslaughter, and two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury.

- We're asking the court to consider supervised release with a monitor.

INTERPRETER: OK. [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- And these are the arguments for that, your honor.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- Mr. Garcia is 16 years of age.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- He's a student.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- The quarterback of the football team.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- He has good grades.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- His blood alcohol level was 0.062 and 0.061.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- I am aware of the fact, because he's a minor, the limit is different.

INTERPRETER: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

- But I want the court to understand that it is below the legal limit.

LAUREN PASTRANA: Prosecutors wanted him held in secure detention. And in the end, the judge agreed.

- He will be held in secure detention until the 21st day, April 19.

LAUREN PASTRANA: The state attorney's office is considering charging Garcia as an adult.