A man accused of driving drunk in a fatal West Lane vehicle crash this weekend posted bail Monday night.
Benjamin Serratos III, 29, of Stockton, posted $178,000 bond and was released from the San Joaquin County Jail.
Serratos was allegedly driving south at 11:50 p.m. Saturday when he rear-ended a car just north of Armstrong Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. That car then hit a traffic signal pole.
The driver, 19-year-old Destanee Little, of Stockton, died at the scene. Her two passengers were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Serratos allegedly tried to run from the scene but was caught and arrested by officers, the CHP reported. He was booked into the county jail.
Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges yet, and it is not known whether they will seek a murder conviction, under California law they may file such a charge because Serratos had a previous drunken driving conviction.
Because Serratos is no longer in custody, prosecutors have more time to review the case and file charges without violating his rights. He is now scheduled to be arraigned in Lodi court on June 24, according to court records.
Bond agents require a 10 percent fee, and collateral may be used for the actual bail amount. If a defendant then fails to appear in court, the bond may be forfeited.
Little graduated from Stagg High School in 2009 and was attending San Joaquin Delta College, considering attending a police academy.
A celebration of her life is planned for Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple in Stockton.
Initiative fundraiser will feature local leaders
Supporters of a ballot initiative to prevent the California Legislature from taking local funds will have the opportunity to meet with elected leaders for a local food and wine night at Hutchins Street Square.
Tickets for the fundraiser on July 29 are $75 a person and $100 a couple. The proceeds go to the campaign for the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Act.
The constitutional amendment on the ballot in November would prevent the state from borrowing or redirecting any taxes from local agencies. The initiative would protect money marked for public safety, redevelopment projects, transit funding and transportation improvements.
Lodi councilwoman JoAnne Mounce is hosting the fundraiser with Lathrop Mayor Kristy Sayles and Stockton Vice Mayor Kathy Miller. All three hold leadership positions in the League of California Cities.
The guest speakers includes Chris McKenzie, the executive director of the League of California Cities, and Ann Johnson, the mayor of Stockton.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity because you are never going to have that many policymakers in one place," Mounce said.
The event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 29 at Hutchins Street Square. For ticket information, e-mail Mounce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her home phone at 333-2814.
Fundraiser planned for Thornton guitar program
The Woodbridge Grange will host a fundraising bunco night to benefit the Grange and Thornton's Guitars Not Guns program on July 20.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Woodbridge Grange, 1074 Academy St., Woodbridge. Tickets are $20. For more information, call Sharon Stokes at 794-8221.
Mosquitofish available starting next week
Come summer, Lodi residents often stock up on mosquito repellent and citronella candles toward off pesky insects and their annoying bites. But the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District has a different solution: — mosquitofish.
The district will be distributing mosquitofish free of charge to residents of the county from June 22 to June 25.
They suggest placing mosquitofish in ornamental ponds, animal water troughs and neglected swimming pools to prevent against mosquito development.
In order to receive mosquitofish, residents will be asked to provide their name, address and location where the fish will be placed. There is a maximum of 15 per person.
For more information please visit www.sjmosquito.org or call 982-4675.
Mosquitofish distribution schedule in San Joaquin County includes:
- Lodi: 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., June 22 at the softball complex parking lot at 401 N. Stockton St.
- Stockton: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., June 25, Swenson Park Golf Course north parking lot at 6803 Alexandria Place.
Supervisors approve MOU changes
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors has approved changes to contracts with three bargaining units in an attempt to reduce layoffs.
The board approved revised agreements with the county Deputy Sheriff's and Correctional Officers associations on Tuesday. Supervisors also added a provision to an agreement reached in May with the county probation officers bargaining unit.