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.)

Watch & Listen LIVE