TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A judge on Tuesday delayed a detention hearing for the 22-year-old man accused of slamming head-on into a vehicle in Mercer County last week, killing a student from The College of New Jersey who was the designated driver on that fateful night.
Dozens of friends and family members of the victim, 20-year-old Michael Sot, showed up in court to see the man accused of killing their loved one.
Sot’s father sat in the front row, emotional throughout the entire proceeding.
“He was always a selfless guy,” Sot’s fraternity brother, Brandon Mehia, said. “This can clearly be shown in this situation, sadly”
The fraternity sets designated drivers for the social events they host, so classmates say the Clark native was being responsible when 22-year-old David Lamar, of West Windsor, slammed into him.
Prosecutors say Lamar was impaired at the time of the collision.
“Mumbling, attempting to get out of the car, he ultimately falls out of the car, his speech was slurred,” Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Geurds said. “He appeared to be under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.”
The defendant’s mother wept in the front row as the state argued that he should remain in custody awaiting trial.
“This is a young man who has used his car recklessly,” Geurds said.
Lamar’s record shows multiple reckless driving charges, but his defense attorney argued that he’s a responsible young adult.
“The state’s version of this case is that this would not have happened before the alcohol, and therefore it makes a man with no prior record whatsoever, who’s had a work history since he was 17, is supposedly a danger to the community,” attorney Robyn Lloyd said. “If you remove that threat, there is no danger to the community.”
Lamar’s defense requested he be released and wear a monitoring device and give up his license. The judge said he needs more time to make a decision.
Many of the other victims from the crash are in critical condition with severe had trauma, possible brain damage, and lacerations.