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Bail Set For Teen Driver Accused Of Killing 4-Year-Old Girl In UWS Crash

Franklin Reyes Faces Manslaughter Charges In Death Of Ariel Russo

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The teen driver accused of killing a 4-year-old girl in an Upper West Side crash is expected to be released on bail.

Someone in the crowded courtroom shouted “too low” when a judge set bail at $25,000 cash for Franklin Reyes on Thursday.

Reyes, 17, is charged with manslaughter and unlawful fleeing in a motor vehicle.

Investigators say Reyes was behind the wheel of an SUV, fleeing from police when he struck and killed Ariel Russo on June 4.

Russo’s grandmother was also severely injured in the crash.

The Russo family was in the courtroom Thursday.

Prosecutors opposed bail, and requested an ankle bracelet, passport surrender and a weekly check on Reyes.

One prosecutor said he didn’t know much about the defendant except that when faced with difficult consequences, he fled, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

The judge denied the requests, saying Reyes has community ties and is not a flight risk.

The defense attorney argued Reyes never intended to hurt anyone that morning and the judge said the charge of manslaughter reflects that.

The Russo family said it was unfair Reyes gets to walk free while their little girl is dead, CBS 2 reported.

Russo family lawyer Sanford Rubenstein with  Alan Russo, Ariel's father (R) - June 27, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Russo family lawyer Sanford Rubenstein with Alan Russo, Ariel’s father (R) – June 27, 2013 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

“My daughter is dead and this guy, he’s free. He’s going to have the summer. He’s going to be home. He’s going to play video games. He’s going to eat his mom’s home-cooked food. I’m never going to have my daughter back,” said Ariel’s father, Alan Russo.

“You could kill somebody and you could walk on bail, it’s not right,” he added.

Inside the courtroom Reyes’ family hugged and rejoiced, Franklin had been held since June 4, when he allegedly mowed down Russo and her grandmother while fleeing police.

Reyes’ defense attorney told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian that his client had been punished enough.

“He will have this memory for a lifetime, he’s never gonna forget this,” his lawyer said.

The judge who presided over the hearing cited Reyes’ strong ties to the community, his confession to police, and his decision to turn himself in, as reasons for granting bail. Prosecutors asked that Reyes be placed under house arrest, but the judge refused.

Reyes is due back in court Aug. 7.

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