By Karen Morfitt
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother and daughter are recovering after a suspected DUI driver in a stolen vehicle hit their minivan.
Sandra Acuna suffered severe internal injuries her 7-year-old daughter Jamille Hernandez broke her back and neck.
Hernandez’s stepfather Ted Chavez says doctors told the family she may never walk again.
“I feel anger, a lot of anger. He’s changed lives,” Chavez said.
David Alva, 24, was arrested after the Feb. 6 crash and is now charged with multiple felony counts, including vehicular assault.
“He’s got court coming up and I would love to just go with a picture of what he did to her,” Chavez said.
CBS4 has learned Alva is no stranger to the courtroom. He was arrested in May of 2016 for stealing a car. He posted a $2,500 bond but failed to show up to court and the amount was increased to $5,000. He was able to bond out.
In January, police arrested Alva again for stealing a vehicle. A judge set a new bond at $5,000 and once again, he bonded out.
Adams County District Attorney Dave Young says judges in their jurisdiction use a bond schedule as guidance.
“We can’t hold people without bond unless it’s a first-degree murder case or Class 1 felony, so they are always going to have a bond,” Young said.
Young says judges should consider two things — the defendants ability to show up to court, as well as public safety issues.
“There’s been legislation in the last couple of years that put more of an emphasis on the defendant’s ability to show up to court and kind of go away from public safety,” he said.
At the end of the day, the decision is left to the judge.
“They do the best they can. It’s not a perfect system. We are all humans and were going to make mistakes,” Young said.
Alva’s bond has now increased to $100,000.
Acuna is now out of the hospital but Hernandez has a very long road ahead. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.