Salmon Falls manslaughter case moves along, slowly
The case of the Rocklin man accused of killing three passengers in a 2009 Pilot Hill solo vehicle accident continued at its sluggish pace Monday afternoon.
Prosecutors allege Mark Steven Barrera, 21, was engaged in a type of street racing on Salmon Falls Road when he lost control of a friend’s vehicle and slammed into a tree in November 2009.
Killed in the crash were 16-year-old Rocklin High School sophomore Nan Hee Pak, 18-year-old Folsom High School senior Elijah John Shaw and 20-year-old Alex Weast.
Barrera was injured in the crash but was released from an area hospital shortly after.
Nearly one year after the crash, Barrera was officially charged for the passenger’s deaths. In September 2010 he pleaded not guilty to three counts of vehicular manslaughter. He remains free on $100,000 bail.
Barrera’s appearance was excused from Monday’s pre-preliminary hearing, which lasted no more than five minutes. His attorney, James Clark, did not attend either.
Instead, defense attorney Brad Clark and deputy district attorney Joe Alexander asked the court to vacate a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday. It was rescheduled for March 14.
Alexander declined to say why exactly the case was not moving along at a swifter pace, but said progress continues to be made.
“It is frustrating that the case is proceeding slowly, but given the nature of the evidence it is not surprising,” he told Mother Lode News. “We expect that the case will move forward more quickly in the near future.”