Hit-and-run suspect bonds out of jail - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Hit-and-run suspect bonds out of jail


New Orleans, La. - Justin McKey, the man who police say drove the car that struck and killed an NOPD officer on I-10, is out of jail after posting bond.

McKey is charged with manslaughter and hit-and-run. FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti explains the charges saying, "Hit-and-run that causes injury is a felony hit-and-run. If you have a felony that leads to someone's death - an unenumerated felony that leads to a death like cruelty to the infirm or simple battery or hit-and-run that leads to death - you can bring a manslaughter charge. And that's what the district attorney's office is going to look at and that's what the police arrested him for."

McKey, the alleged driver, actually faced a smaller bond - $50,000 - than that of the body shop owner, Bill Cager. Cager, who has no previous convictions, has a $100,000 bond for an obstruction of justice charge and a charge of accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

"There's a certain incongruity in the two bonds in the same case but that's a function of different judges. I would suspect that if one judge, either one of them had done both, the bonds may have been a little different," Raspanti said.

During Cager's bond hearing, a representative from the district attorney's office told the magistrate judge about some of the state's evidence in the case.  That evidence included surveillance camera footage showing three men driving the white Porsche into the Best of the Best Auto and Collision Center on Gravier Street early Sunday morning, shortly after the accident on the interstate.

The cameras also allegedly show Cager wiping blood from the heavily damaged car with white towels. NOPD technicians found bloody towels in the trash at the auto shop the next day.

A police report of the accident obtained by FOX 8 says witnesses observed the Porsche on the interstate traveling at a high rate of speed. The report says NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas tried to flag the vehicle down but the driver of the Porsche struck Thomas's pick-up truck and then struck Thomas himself.

It goes on to say, "The white Porsche continues with Officer Thomas on the front portion of the vehicle. Officer Thomas' body separated from the vehicle and struck the ground."

The Porsche then accelerated away from the scene leaving Officer Thomas bleeding and motionless on Interstate 10.

The third suspect in this case, 28-year-old Kenneth Halley, whom police say has an extensive criminal record, has not yet gone before a magistrate judge. That could happen as early as Wednesday morning. Halley faces charges of obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

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