Suspected drunk driver in hit-and-run death released on own recognizance

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE)- The sister of a New Mexico man is heartbroken after her brother was killed last month by a suspected drunk driver.

Now, she’s even more upset because the man who police say hit him is walking the streets and he never had to pay a penny to get out.

Yolanda Martinez feels like she is mourning all over again for her brother. Juliosimon Martinez was killed in a hit-and-run crash on October 10th.

Police say the driver who hit him, Michael Penick, admitted to having six shots before getting behind the wheel.

“I’m still reacting to the news that, you know, first of all, he’s dead and second of all, that this guy was drunk and he left the scene of the accident,” said Yolanda.

The news she has to react to now, is Michael Penick is out of jail released on his own recognizance.

Penick appeared in court on October 11 charged with homicide by vehicle from the accident near Lomas and San Pedro. Pennick was given a $5,000 bond, which he couldn’t pay.

Since Penick appeared in court, he has ten days to be indicted or he must be released from jail.

The prosecution is waiting for blood tests to determine Penick’s blood alcohol level that night. So, it could be another 50 days before this case could go before a grand jury.

That does not sit well with Martinez’s sister.

“He’s out just walking around and enjoying his life and I know that may sound harsh but he should be in jail until his trial,” said Yolanda.

She says that she and her family will be watching this case very closely.

“I want justice for my brother, he didn’t deserve to die, well nobody deserves to die that way,” she said.

After the crash, Penick called some friends and told them he thought he had hit somebody. They called police.

When questioned, Penick told them he was struck by PTSD from an incident he suffered years ago and couldn’t remember what had happened.

The Martinez family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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