TRACY -- The Tracy man suspected of a fatal hit and run that killed a 15-year-old has been deemed a flight risk because of comments he made on social media. He wanted to know, “does Brazil extradite to the United States?”
According to the Tracy Press, that question posted on social media by 32-year-old Gabriel Jon Bailey led a San Joaquin County judge to rule him as a flight risk at a bail hearing Thursday in Manteca.
Bailey is facing several felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter and hit and run resulting in injury or death, for hitting and killing 15-year-old, Alexia Rubio, with his car around 1:30 a.m. on April 21st. Tracy police say Rubio was walking with two friends near the cemetery on South MacArthur drive when she was struck before Bailey took off.
“Everybody has had cases that are affected by this,” said defense attorney, Aaron Villalobos.
Villalobos is a defense attorney based in Modesto. Though he is not Bailey’s attorney, he says there are plenty of instances where a suspect out on bail or speaking with someone over the phone while in jail, put themselves in situations that make them a flight risk. The Tracy Press says evidence was presented Thursday showing that Bailey made this statement on social media after being released on bail on April 28th, a week after the incident. Bailey was arrested again on May 4th.
“The judge’s concerns, which there is some merit to, is that that isn’t an ambiguous statement. It’s a statement that is pretty clear on its face that is an intention to run. Although there are efforts such as ankle bracelets, such as having reports to probation services, it is concerning. The judge may not be wrong in this situation,” stated Villalobos.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office says they found searches on how to permanently delete text messages and searches for extradition laws between the US and Brazil. The department added that Bailey had messages indicating he would not go back to his personal residence and two previous DUIs made him a danger to the community.
“Everybody has these cases, and I’ll tell you, from a personal level, they are the most frustrating because our job is to defend an individual and when that individual ruins the case, it’s frustrating…anything they can say is open to scrutiny,” Villalobos said.
Villalobos says attorneys often give their clients advice to not talk about the case, especially on social media, but he says many ignore it.
“If you have a question on whether it is incriminating, don’t put it on social media,” expressed Villalobos.
Bailey is scheduled to be back in court May 29th for further arraignment.