Judge refuses to lower bail again for Kamas man
A 3rd District Court judge has again refused to lower bail for a Kamas man facing a charge of automobile homicide after the results of his toxicology report indicated he had been drinking before the accident.
Randon Robertson, 20, recently appeared in court and asked that his bail be reduced from $100,000, cash only. Judge Paige Petersen denied the request based on the results of the toxicology report, which showed he had a blood-alcohol concentration of .11 grams per deciliter of blood more than three hours after the accident. The legal limit is .08.
Robertson has been charged with automobile homicide, which is a second-degree felony punishable by one to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction. He and we stand behind Randon also faces several additional charges, including failure to stop at a serious injury or accident, obstructing justice, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.
"We’ve discussed bail and he’s not financially able to do that," said John Johnson, one of the public defenders appointed to represent Robertson. "The family of the victim are perfectly OK with his release, but the state objected and I understand that."
According to charging documents, on Oct. 24 at around 4 a.m. Robertson crashed his grey Nissan Titan near mile marker 2 on State Road 150, also known as Mirror Lake Highway. Robertson and Logan Brown, 18, of Kamas, walked away from the accident with minor scrapes and bruises. However, another passenger, Larry Paul, of Kamas, was ejected from the vehicle and was later found by law enforcement officers in the weeds on the side of the road. Paul was 28 and died at the scene.
Robertson initially denied involvement, claiming to be asleep at the time of the accident and that someone must have taken his truck, according to documents. He filed a stolen vehicle report with a Kamas City police officer. According to documents, while talking to investigators he had a "strong odor of alcohol" and "fresh road rash on his shoulder that was still bleeding."
Robertson later admitted that he was driving and had consumed 10 beers the night before. He said he was driving "very fast" and took a turn too sharply while looking and yelling at Paul. He overcorrected, causing the truck to roll. Two cases of beer and other debris were found scattered on the side of the road.
"It’s horrible for him and very traumatic. One of his best friends died and he feels badly and is by no means trying to minimize that," Johnson said. "We’re all doing all we can, but we are in a tug of war right now. It’s a process and I’m not quite sure how it will end up."
At Robertson’s first bail hearing, held in November, Paul’s former legal guardian, Juliana Viar, spoke on Robertson’s behalf. Robertson and Paul both graduated from South Summit High School. Brown is currently a student.
Viar referred to Paul’s death as a "horrible mistake" and said she believed Robertson is "remorseful and understands the seriousness" of the situation.
"We support him," Viar told the judge through sobs. "I would like for a better opportunity to share my feelings on this, but we stand behind Randon. We are sorry Larry lost his life, but we don’t want to see another life destroyed. I am for release and monitoring or whatever it may be. I just really think Randon needs the support of his family right now and I know that we support him as well."
Robertson’s case has been set for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 25, at 1:30 p.m. The hearing could include testimony from witnesses and law enforcement officers, according to Matt Bates, Summit County prosecutor. The judge will then determine whether to bind Robertson over for trial.
"The results of the toxicology report make it clear that we now have a fairly strong case for automobile homicide and have more cause to hold him, especially given his history and the facts of this case," Bates said. "I felt concerned for public safety and possibly fleeing jurisdiction because of the seriousness of the charge."
Robertson has pled guilty to two charges of a minor in possession and has two open cases and active warrants in other counties. He is also on probation for driving under the influence in Toole County.
Robertson remains in custody at the Summit County Jail. Brown was released after posting $2,500 in bail. Brown faces one count of obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor.
"Logan Brown wasn’t driving and the only thing he has been charged with is the obstruction of justice," Bates said. "He didn’t have any duty to remain at the scene because he was just a passenger. We have charged him with giving false statements to the police, but he is not a flight risk so we are just kind of waiting to see what happens with Randon’s case."
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In one case, the defendant pleaded guilty to theft by deception.