San Jose Mercury News * February 27, 2001

Bail reduced for suspect in cyclist's death

By the Mercury News

A judge Monday morning reduced the bail of a San Francisco truck driver accused of fatally hitting a bike messenger. But it was not enough to allow him to be released from jail while awaiting a potential trial.

Reuben Espinoza, 42, was being held on $2 million bail, set at his Feb. 7 arraignment. Judge Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee reduced the amount to $1.5 million after hearing Espinoza's attorneys describe him as a man who had turned his life around.

Espinoza is charged with manslaughter in the death of Chris Robertson, 30. Robertson was riding in a pack of bike activists when Espinoza allegedly ran over him with his big rig on Nov. 17 near China Basin.

Espinoza faces three felony charges in the alleged road-rage incident, including involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. Espinoza allegedly threw a wooden block at Robertson as he rode his bike.

A date for a preliminary hearing will be set March 6.



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