A Palm Beach County deputy convicted of driving recklessly when he crashed into a Smart car, seriously injuring the driver, had his request to be released from jail denied Friday by a judge.
A jury found Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Hegele guilty of reckless driving last week in a May 2016 crash. The judge ordered Hegele to be taken into custody immediately after the trial.
Hegele’s lawyers filed a motion asking the judge to release him on bail before his sentencing hearing. Hegele was released on $3,000 bond following his arrest after the crash while he awaited trial.
At Friday's hearing, the judge also moved his sentencing from March 15 to Feb. 26.
Hegele's wife testified Friday about their financial hardship with him being in custody as well as childcare issues for their 3-year-old son.
“[Hegele] has appeared in court whenever required. He has never given the court reason to believe that he would remove himself from the jurisdiction of the court,” attorney Scott Richardson wrote in court documents before Friday's hearing.
Richardson also cited case law, writing that people found guilty of a non-capital offense may be released from jail pending review of conviction at the discretion of a trial or appellate court.
Following the guilty verdict, a spokesperson for PBSO said Hegele is still on administrative leave without pay. PBSO will begin an administrative investigation now that the criminal investigation is concluded, the spokesperson said.