News

Manslaughter case against Tri-Valley attorney moves forward

Preliminary hearing waived after more than a year of delays

After more than 18 months of delays and legal wrangling, the manslaughter case against a San Ramon lawyer accused of running down a bicyclist in Dublin is moving ahead.

Spencer Freeman Smith waived a preliminary hearing Thursday in Pleasanton. He's now set to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward later this month.

Smith, 33, was arrested for felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter on May 17, 2012, days after a nighttime crash that killed Bo Hu, 57, a Chinese national who was living in San Ramon at the time.

Hu, who was either walking his bike or riding northbound on Dougherty Road near Fall Creek Road, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case against Smith has seen at least six postponements to date. He's also turned down a plea offer, although prosecutors are prohibited from discussing details of the plea deal.

His only appearance in court prior to Thursday was in June, when he entered a not guilty plea, saying nothing but a few whispered words to his attorney.

Smith was charged after police in Dublin traced parts from his black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 found at the scene through the dealership.

Smith, who lives in San Ramon, remains free on bail. He is a partner at the San Francisco firm of Smith Patten, where he practices employment law.

Comments

Posted by LMP, a resident of Danville
on Dec 6, 2013 at 7:11 am

Throw the book at this guy. He was probably drunk when it happened, but we will never know since he fled the scene and neglected to help the poor man he hit. Just a bunch of sleezy legal wrangling to date. He belongs in jail. Condolences to the victim's family.


Posted by SL, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

People guessing at what happened is why we have a trial system in this country. He is not guilty until a trial occurs and a judge or jury makes that determination from all the facts. It is tragic that someone was killed but there are two facts that are very important: "night-time crash" and "traced parts of the car" . Being an owner of a car involved in an accident does not mean the owner was the driver; Was the bicyclist in the road - in a bike lane- off on the shoulder and have proper lighting on the bike for night vision. Was the bicyclist barely glazed by a car and died from a head injury or 'run over'. These are all missing facts.
Don't be so quick to judge without all the facts of the case.


Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

SL you are a disgrace to Alamo. It's your type that is the cause of all our problems.

I hope the SOB gets locked up for a long time...

Julia Pardini from Alamo..


Posted by OLD GUY, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Julia...as usual you spill bile from your parched lips. You are the real disgrace to Alamo. I have read your posts for a number of months. I have never heard you say something positive. This forum and the population of Alamo would be well served of you stopped postingar


Posted by Carol Mayhew, a resident of Danville
on Dec 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Well well well--seems Old Guy wants to SHUT DOWN discussion and opinion......betting a diversity embracing libTARD with no feelings for the poor victim. I have seen many lawyers in action---disgusting maggots---I have watched the Martinez courts--appalling good old boys clubs---the hell with the LAW.


Posted by Sebastian Monroe, a resident of Diablo
on Dec 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Yawn yawn. I am wondering if the well worn overused "race card" has been p l a y e d yet?


Posted by Founding Father, a resident of Danville
on Dec 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

The fact that four of six comments here want to lynch this defendant is precisely the reason why we have a presumption of innocence and a court system -- to act as a check on the know-nothing power of mob rule and the torches-and-pitchforks brigade.

Julia is a lunatic fixture around here, but Carol uses this tragedy to spew undifferentiated personal hostility, Sebbie play race card solitaire and LMP wants to convict on no evidence except the unsupported assumption that the defendant was drunk. Fortunately, our system requires requires due process for all -- including you when it's your turn -- and the citizens tasked with passing actual judgment usually take their duties seriously.

A man died here -- I wonder how he'd feel about your using his tragedy as an excuse to vent your basest predilections and prejudices?


Posted by Sally, a resident of Danville
on Dec 7, 2013 at 9:01 am

Thanks, Founding Father. I frequently have to remind myself that, despite the way they dominate the comments section in the Danville Express, these vapid haters don't represent this community.


Posted by Louise, a resident of Danville
on Dec 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm

More than likely unintentional accident. Whether driver was attorney, or whatever race he was, doesn' matter. He of course knows the law and what is at stake. What matters is what happened. Being so late at night the visibility was poor on that road and many roads. It is a sad accident for both parties. He is obviously trying to delay the inevitable as he and his attorney proceed thru court system. The courts will decide his fate and he will have to live with it.


Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Dec 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

Wake up Louise...yes it was an accident...but the low life Mr. Smith said screw it and drove away...I wonder why....do you Louise have any idea why...If you can think Louise really think.

And a message to "Old Guy" On the other hand, what I have to say in response shouldn't be said on the media...but I am sure you can guess what my response would be...You do know when you get OLD your your mind misfires.

Thanks for listening Old Guy and all the other that bile flows over my lips.

Carol Mayhew said it appropriately and correctly.

In my closing remarks allow to say Mr. Smith is scum and all others like him that would leave an accident site that was involved ii is also scum.

Julia Pardini from Alamo...Stay warm if you can...these past few days have been seriously rough on the many homeless folks.


Posted by Rita Samuelson, a resident of Danville
on Dec 9, 2013 at 7:07 am

"SL" seems to forget that George Zimmerman was convicted and hung by the mainstream media who also INVENTED the moniker "white Hispanic" to gin up the low information ppl. I do believe this lawyer/suspect played his itty bitty race card to deflect from the facts coming out. Pray buddy, I'm not on your jury.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I'm always surprised at the number of people who can't seem to have a reasonable discussion without throwing in the name-calling and personal invective. "Libtard?" Really? I don't see anyone who disagrees with you, Carol Mayhew, calling you "Carol-tard" or "Mayhew-tard." It seems pretty juvenile to me, Carol.

Perhaps the name-calling is simply an indication of the weakness of their arguments.


Posted by Moral Turp, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 14, 2014 at 10:34 am

This guy Smith is very arrogant and a crook. Why would you hide your car in the garage knowing you had hit something or someone. The fatal hit & run was on the news for several days every day. Yet, you did not come forward. The cops had to find you. If he had stopped and rendered aid, maybe Mr. Hu would be here today. I see no reasonable defense. He should fry and pay the Hu family for their loss.


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