An emotional afternoon in court today as the family of a 9-year-old boy sat in the same room with a man accused of hitting and killing the boy Sunday.
Monday, the suspect, 59-year-old Joseph John McNamara, made his first courtroom appearance. And ABC Fox Montana has more information from court documents.
"Sir is your true and correct name Joseph John McNamara?" Ravalli County Judge Jennifer Ray asked starting the afternoon hearing
"Yes." McNamara said.
Sitting in front of Judge Ray, McNamara listened as the charges were read against him
"Defendant McNamara you negligently cause the death of youth 1, a 9-year-old male in violation of the above statue.” Judge Ray read, ”Charge two, a failure to remain at an accident when a person has been injured. A misdemeanor."
Charged with both a felony and a misdemeanor the state of Montana requested that his bail be set at $500,000, a request the judge granted and then added.
"As you well know there is a 9-year-old child who is never going home again, so in that matter the state could have asked me for a million dollar bail and I would have probably given it to them" Judge ray said.
Court documents say after he allegedly hit the boy, McNamara stopped briefly and the boy's father handed him his phone and asked him to call 911.
Prosecutors say McNamara took the father's phone and sped off. He parked at a nearby home then fled on foot.
He was found five and a half hours later at a home in the area.
When he was taken into custody police asked for a blood sample but McNamara refused and reportedly said to the officer.
"After I hit that kid you have enough charges to lock me up for life."
McNamara’s next court date will be July 25th or July 31st depending on what judge is available for the case.