Bond set at $500,000 for cop charged in deadly wrong-way LSD crash

March 18, 2013 9:58:06 AM PDT
A judge set bail at $500,000 for a North Chicago police officer accused of causing a wrong-way crash that killed two people.

Terrell Garrett, 35, was charged with two counts of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol for the deaths of Joaquin Garcia, 25, and Fabian Torres, 27. The crash happened around 4:00 a.m. Friday on Lake Shore Drive between Diversey Parkway and Belmont Avenue.

The judge set Garrett's bond at $500,000. According to prosecutors, Garrett's blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.184, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

The victims' families were angry and outraged that Garrett was granted bond.

"I believe he should be in jail," Julian Garcia, Joaquin Garcia's uncle, said.

Garrett was not at the hearing. He remains hospitalized with a fractured hip. If he posts 10-percent of the bail money, Garrett will have to wear an electronic monitor.

"It's not right that two lives were taken. Two lives gone and he has gotten a slap on the wrist," Joaquin Garcia's mother Asuncion Torres said.

Walking arm in arm, the victims' mothers, Asuncion Torres and Cecilia Garcia, had never met each other until Garrett's bond hearing brought the two mothers together. Torres' mother spoke publicly for the first time Sunday

"It is so unnatural for a mother to bury her child," Asuncion Torres said. "It is so unnatural, so unjust."

While the Torres and Garcia families showed pictures and held posters for justice, Garrett's attorney walked out of court with two people believed to be relatives of the officer. They refused to comment.

Investigators said Garrett was off-duty and driving drunk in the wrong direction at more than 60 miles an hour in a 45-mile-an-hour zone.

Garrett remains on leave from the North Chicago Police Department that he joined in August 2008. Officials say Garrett admitted to being out drinking because it was his birthday.

Joaquin Garcia was studying to be a surgical technician and set to graduate in May from Malcolm X College, with plans to go on to the University of Illinois at Chicago for a bachelor's degree and hopes of one day being a doctor or nurse. He'd recently lost his father to cancer.

"He was going to graduate from college in May," Joaquin Garcia's mother Cecilia Garcia said. "I was planning to have a big party for him but now I'm planning his funeral."

Cecilia Garcia said Garrett never should have been granted bond.

"Just because he is a police officer does not make him above the law," Asuncion Torres said.

Relatives said Fabian Torres was a freshman at DePaul University who had a bright future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.