MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man arrested last week in a deadly Midtown hit-and-run wreck that is out on bail, able to spend the holidays with his family.
Julio Hernandez is charged with vehicular homicide in the death of University of Memphis student Ava Christopher, who died after she was hit at the corner of Cooper and Central back in July.
Police say Hernandez, 19, was driving a stolen Dodge Challenger when he slammed into a pole. Video shows a man and a woman walking away from the accident scene.
Hernandez was taken into custody Nov. 16, months after the wreck. He walked out of court Monday with a $75,000 bond and was released.
For Ava’s friends, it’s all a bitter pill to swallow as they prepare for their first holiday season without her.
“She should be able to spend the holidays with her family, and she should still be here,” said Ava’s friend, M J Learned. “Finally, knowing that someone is going to be held responsible, and then having them released on bail is just very — it’s very up and down.”
Police say Hernandez admitted to driving the car that slammed into Christopher around midnight on July 25. The police report says he was going 88 mph in a 40 mph zone.
They say the vehicle he was in was reported stolen out of Southaven, Mississippi. The rims from that car were found with Hernandez when police caught him last week.
“He said he feels bad. He feels awful. But I mean, that doesn’t change anything, that doesn’t bring Ava back,” Learned said. “You gotta be held accountable for your actions.”
This comes as many are calling for higher bails and criticizing the ease with which those arrested are turned around and released.
WREG asked the District Attorney’s office about Hernandez’s $75,000 bail. They said it’s the judicial commissioners who issue bail, and they were checking to see if the D.A.’s office asked for a high amount.
Hernandez is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 9.