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CI courts

BLOOMINGTON — Bond has been changed once again for a man accused of driving a van in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Bloomington in June, but Jose Rodriguez is likely to be taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security when released from jail.

Bond was reduced to $100,000 for Rodriguez, 27, of Bloomington, by McLean County Judge Scott Drazewski Thursday morning. Rodriguez is charged with failure to report a June 22 crash that resulted in a death, disregarding a traffic control device and driving without a valid driver’s license.

On June 25, Judge Tom Funk set bond at $100,000, and Rodriguez posted the required $10,035 to be released. On July 12, Judge William Yoder increased the bond to $1 million, meaning Rodriguez would have had to post $100,035 for release.

Rodriquez's attorney subsequently asked for a new judge, a request which was approved.

In announcing his decision, Drazewski said the bond decrease would not go into effect for 48 hours, and instructed the sheriff’s department to notify Homeland Security of the court’s actions.

“Since there is a warrant for his arrest by Homeland Security, it is most likely he will be taken into custody upon his release from the McLean County jail,” the judge said.

Rodriguez is from Honduras, but has lived here for five years. The Pantagraph previously reported Homeland Security was aware of Rodriguez's immigration status, but issued the warrant after the agency was told he'd been arrested.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Lawson said witnesses reported Rodriguez was at the scene.

“He briefly approached the victim, but did not offer aid and did not tell police at the scene he was the driver of the van. He turned himself into Bloomington police the next day, more than 24 hours after the accident,” she said.

In asking for the bond reduction, defense attorney Chris Gramm said an investigation by McLean County Pre-Trial Services indicated that if released, Rodriguez would not violate terms of his bond.

“He has a very low risk score for future incidents, he is at no risk for violence, and my client voluntarily showed up at his arraignment,” he said.

A civil case is also pending against Rodriguez and two other parties. The lawsuit asks for damages in excess of $50,000 from GR Framing Construction Inc., which owned the van, and German Javier Rodriguez, who controlled the van. The parties are due in court on Dec. 6.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.