SACRAMENTO -- The man suspected of leading a CHP officer on a high-speed chase that eventually led to the officer’s death appeared before a judge in Sacramento County Superior Court Monday afternoon.
Alberto Quiroz appeared withdrawn facing a judge in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, barely audible as he answered the judge's questions.
Quiroz now faces three felony counts in connection to the high-speed chase that ended with the death of CHP officer Lucas Chellew, who lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a pole at the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Fruitridge Road in South Sacramento.
The charges he now faces -- evading an officer, driving a stolen motorcycle and receiving that motorcycle, knowing it was stolen.
"It's further alleged the act caused death to California Highway Patrol officer Lucas Chellew,” said Judge Michael Sweet.
"They're making it seem like he's the one who, maybe he did have a part in, causing the accident, but in his mind he didn't mean to kill a guy,” said a woman outside the courtroom who refused to give her name but claimed to be Quiroz’s mother.
She acknowledges Quiroz's crime, but says he never wished death on any officer. She doesn't think attacks against Quiroz are fair.
"It's all over the Facebook. People accusing him, that he should go back to Mexico. Because he's Mexican, now they want to throw him back to Mexico for real? That's being racist, don't you think?” said the woman.
While Quiroz remains in the Sacramento County Jail, the memorial for officer Chellew remains intact –flowers, candles and well wishes mark the spot where the officer lost his life.
Family members of officer Chellew were in court Monday as well, flanked by CHP officers. They were quickly escorted out of the back exit of courthouse following the proceedings.
Quiroz will be back in court March 6.