Man pleads not guilty in fatal hit and run

By Kristina Davis

August 28, 2008

A man accused of intentionally running down and killing a bicyclist in Mira Mesa pleaded not guilty to murder yesterday.

AdvertisementMarcos Garcia Jeronimo, 22, is also charged with a special allegation of using a car as a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $1 million during yesterday's arraignment in San Diego Superior Court.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 10.

Investigators say Jeronimo and the victim had an ongoing feud, part of which involved a woman.

The identity of the victim, a young man who is believed to have been a Mexican national, has not been released.

San Diego police are working with the Mexican consulate to find the victim's family and verify his identity, said San Diego homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney.

Jeronimo, also an immigrant, is in the country illegally, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says.

Deputy District Attorney Patrick Ojeil said the victim was on his bike directly in front of Jeronimo's car in a parking lot on Capricorn Way on Aug. 20.

Ojeil said Jeronimo accelerated his red Dodge Neon, ran over the bicyclist and continued driving onto the street, dragging the man and the bike 500 feet under his car.

Jeronimo then stopped the car, with the victim still pinned beneath, and ran away, Ojeil said. The bicyclist died at the scene.

Police searched around the county for Jeronimo in the days that followed, checking places he used to live and fast-food restaurants in San Diego and San Marcos where he worked.

On Saturday, he turned himself in to Oceanside police.

His 20-year-old brother was arrested a day earlier on suspicion of being an accessory to murder for helping Jeronimo elude authorities, Rooney said. ... itrun.html