Almanza asks to be released ahead of trial

[anvplayer video=”5094946″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sergio Almanza had previously decided he would stay in jail before trial, but has since gotten a new attorney. Almanza is the man accused of killing 7-year-old Pronoy Bhattacharya in a hit-and-run crash outside the River of Lights in December.

On Friday, that attorney filed a motion to reconsider pretrial detention. The motion said that he wishes to be part of his children’s lives.

In the court document, his attorney argues Almanza has immense family support and would agree to conditions of release, like being asked not to drive. It also states that although Almanza initially fled to Mexico – he did choose to come back and face justice.

In a statement, Almanza’s attorney Adam Oakey said, in part, "This community has been devastated but the legal question at hand is whether our client is a danger to the community, and we feel he is not for many reasons…"

However, prosecutors said that legal question has been asked and answered by Almanza himself – and his lack of argument during that initial hearing.

According to the district attorney’s filed response, there have been no changes in circumstances or new information since that last hearing, and "a change in counsel is not new information that has material bearing on the court’s previous order."

Both the defense attorney and the district attorney’s office tell KOB 4 they will present those arguments at the hearing. A court date is set for March 23.