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Attorney: DUI murder defendant could lose other arm if not released


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Karim Reyad lost an arm in a vehicle crash last year. If he’s not released from jail to receive specialized treatment, he could lose the other one, his attorney said.

Reyad, 18, is being held without bail on murder and other charges stemming from a second crash, one that occurred in April and in which authorities say his Dodge Charger Hellcat traveled more than 100 mph before hitting another vehicle, killing a 66-year-old woman. It’s alleged Reyad was under the influence of a drug.

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His lawyer, Forrest Miller, is asking Judge Elizabet Rodriguez to reconsider her prior ruling and set bail, saying his client needs “aggressive, serious physical care” for his arm and a leg injured in the fatal crash. Rodriguez rejected a motion seeking bail earlier this month.

At a hearing Thursday morning, Miller said he submitted a report from a doctor treating Reyad at Lerdo Jail that states the jail can’t handle Reyad’s medical needs. Reyad’s remaining arm has “nerve issues” and he’s at risk of becoming armless, the attorney said.

“This is cruel and unusual punishment,” Miller told the court. He added Reyad isn’t a flight risk because he can’t drive due to his injuries, and needs help just to use the bathroom. As at earlier court appearances, Reyad was using a wheelchair Thursday.

Also, Miller said, Reyad’s family is seeking asylum in the U.S. after fleeing Egypt, where they were persecuted because they’re Christians. He said Reyad would need his mother to leave with him if he were to flee the country, something that “would ruin the entire family.”

In short, Miller said, Reyad isn’t going anywhere and will comply with court orders.

However, when Rodriguez pressed him to show where it says in the submitted documents that the jail can’t meet Reyad’s medical needs, Miller was at a loss. He scanned through the documents.

“I don’t see it in this report, your honor,” Miller said. But he told the judge he had spoken with both a jail doctor and Reyad’s attending physician.

Rodriguez said she needed a written report indicating the jail can’t treat Reyad. She postponed her decision until July 6 to let Miller file supplemental documents and give prosecutor Kacie Barrier time to review them.

On April 18, Reyad drove like a “maniac” in the moments before the collision that killed Gayla Sue Price, a passenger in Reyad’s car told police. Price died at the scene.

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The passenger said Reyad ran a stop sign at 80 mph, eventually hit speeds of at least 120 mph and made an illegal U-turn before traveling east on Campus Park Drive, according to court documents. He told police Reyad then swerved into opposite lanes and hit Price’s Honda Civic.

The passenger also said Reyad smoked marijuana from a wax pen while driving, according to the documents. His blood tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, the reports said.

Data retrieved from the Dodge showed it was traveling 108 mph just 1.1 seconds before the crash, police said in the documents. Reyad, who arrested days earlier on suspicion of impaired driving, was charged with second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of a drug and six other charges.

Reyad’s left arm was amputated from the elbow down last year after he was involved in a crash while riding a mini bike, reports said.


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