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Court sets bond for fatal hit-run driver at $100,000

by
James R. Erdmann Jr. (Photo from Fond du Lac County Jail/FOX 11)
James R. Erdmann Jr. (Photo from Fond du Lac County Jail/FOX 11)

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A man charged in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Appleton had his bond set at $100,000 Friday.

20-year-old James Erdmann Jr. of Poy Sippi is accused of striking 61-year-old bicyclist Robert Joosten with his vehicle last month.

Erdmann's attorney petitioned for a lower amount, suggesting $5,000 cash.

"He did surrender himself once he discovered police were looking for him, he has a traffic history, he has no criminal history," Attorney Ray Edelstein told FOX 11. According to Outagamie County prosecutor Melinda Tempelis, Erdmann had received nine tickets over the past two years for driving with a suspended license.

She added Erdmann did not stop to check on Joosten the night of last month's crash, and that if he had, Joosten might be alive.

"Because of Mr. Erdmann's lack of response or stopping or summoning law enforcement or emergency personnel they were not able to, perhaps, treat him more quickly," Tempelis explained, according to FOX 11.

The prosecutor said on the night of the alleged hit and run, November 9th, Erdmann was talking to a female acquaintance on the phone. That woman told police during their conversation Erdmann said he thought he hit someone. Later the woman told police Ermann said the person he hit was still moving as he drove away and he wanted to hurry to leave the area, before the police got involved.

The court commissioner decided $100,000 bond would be appropriate, because he said the suspect is a flight risk and danger to the public.

Erdmann is due back in court next month and faces up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted.

(Additional reporting from FOX 11)

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