Letters: Bail shouldn't be lowered for man charged with hit and run

August 14, 2007 11:00 pm

This is in response to the Triplicate article concerning Judge Wier's decision to reduce bail in the case of Mr. Ehrhardt, who has been charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in relation to an accident that left two innocent people dead at the scene of an accident, and two small children critically injured and now motherless ("Bail cut upsets victim's family," August 11).

I was shocked, disgusted and sickened reading this article about the reduction in Mr. Ehrhardt's bail. Admittedly, I know nothing about bail, but my guess would be that it is based upon the seriousness of the crime and flight risk. There is no doubt this is a serious crime, nor is there doubt that if Mr. Ehrhardt was capable of fleeing a scene at which people were more than likely dying, it's reasonable to believe he's capable of fleeing another unpleasant scene again.

Mr. Ehrhardt's attorney's claim that his defendant, after the accident, was simply "dazed, in shock, then he fell in the bushes, walked down to Fort Dick Market and made a call to his girlfriend to come pick him up," was no more than lame and an insult to the intelligence of anyone having to hear it.

The Dr. Fine Bridge is quite a distance on foot to Fort Dick Market. Still, Mr. Ehrhardt was able to manage his way out of the bushes where he had "fallen," all of his way there to the market. Quite an accomplishment for a "dazed," "shocked," injured man in my own view. There were telephones closer to the Dr. Fine Bridge area, but Mr. Ehrhardt apparently wasn't too dazed to realize they would involve people other than his girlfriend. He was not in such a state of shock to dial up his girlfriend for a rescue mission. At no point in this story, so far, have I heard any mention of Mr. Ehrhardt making any attempt to obtain help for those he left dying and bleeding on the road behind him.

No, sick and twisted as it may seem, it is quite evident the only thing on Mr. Ehrhardt's mind was saving his own hide and hiding. And, although one can certainly understand the absolute horror one would experience after committing such a horrendous act, Mr. Ehrhardt had the choice of helping himself or helping his victims. He chose himself, and in doing so, he committed a serious crime.

That makes Mr. Ehrhardt a criminal and he should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. And, I don't know much about law, but a reasonable mind does not care whether or not Mr. Ehrhardt has lived among us for 26 years, has family and friends here. As I see it, that's even more reason for Mr. Ehrhardt to take responsibility for his actions. Besides, was that not also true in the case of Mr. Wigley, the man who raped, tortured, murdered and possibly cannibalized the sweet 18-year-old hitchhiker passing through "God's Country?"

Lisa Gomez

Crescent City