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Man Appears In Court In New Jersey Cop’s Death

Ocean Gate Police Officer Jason Marles (credit: CBS 2)

Ocean Gate Police Officer Jason Marles (credit: CBS 2)

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TOMS RIVER, NJ (AP) - Bail remains at $250,000 for the New Jersey man charged with vehicular homicide in the death of an off-duty police officer on the Garden State Parkway.

The Asbury Park Press reported Erick Uzcategui hung his head and told a judge he understood his rights during his first court appearance in Ocean County on Monday.

Authorities say the 31-year-old’s SUV slammed into the back of Ocean Gate Officer Jason Marles’ Jeep Grand Cherokee just after 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving. The nine-year veteran of the police force had just finished working at a drunken driver checkpoint.

Prosecutors say Uzcategui failed a sobriety test after state police detected alcohol on his breath. Results of a blood test are pending.

Uzcategui’s public defender told the judge his client may hire a private attorney.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)