RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Joseph Anthony Garcia pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon for his involvement in a school bus crash last month.
As SBF previously reported, on Oct. 20, Garcia drove his Chevrolet HHR underneath a freeway overpass and parked. He then attempted to climb the fence on the overpass and when he could not get over the fence, he climbed into his car and drove the wrong way onto the freeway exit and crashed head-on into the bus in an apparent suicide attempt.
According to City News Service, Garcia had eight previously scheduled arraignments, but he didn’t appear for any of them. He has been in a detention ward since his arrest following the accident, and doctors there refused to clear him to leave the hospital because of his injuries.
Therefore, Riverside County Superior Court Judge James T. Warren scheduled arraignment for Wednesday morning at the medical center, and Garcia pleaded not guilty to the multiple felony charges.
Warren appointed a public defender to represent Garcia and set a felony settlement conference for Nov. 30, City News Service reports.