Crime & SafetyFlorida

Drunk, high teen with only learner’s permit when he killed 4, investigators say, will remain behind bars

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Family members of a 16-year-old boy facing charges after killed 4 people on New Year’s Day morning spoke on his behalf at a virtual hearing on Friday.

The attorney for Alex Garcia, Brian Kerlew, requested that he be released on bond and had family members appear to make their plea to the judge to let him out of jail until his trial. His aunt and grandmother spoke and another family member stated he could serve as a mentor to the teen.

Garcia is being charged as an adult in the case.

An investigation into the New Year’s Day morning crash at the intersection of Southwest 79th Avenue and Flagler Street found, according to authorities, that Garcia was driving 111 miles per hour when his car slammed into a Hyundai Elantra. All 4 people in the Elantra were killed.

Garcia was 15-years-old at the time of the crash and was behind the wheel of an SUV with only a learner’s permit, according to authorities. Investigators said Garcia tested positive for having alcohol and marijuana in his blood.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, the teen’s mother said she gave Garcia the keys to her Chevy Tahoe because he told her he was going to sit in the car and listen to music, but he did not have her permission to drive the car.

The judge set bond on several other charges that Garcia is facing, but denied the defense’s request on the 4 manslaughter charges. The judge said she believes that Garcia is a danger to society based on the charges and circumstances of the crash. Garcia faces 10 felony charges and bond was set for some of the other charges at $450,000.

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