EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Friends, family and teachers of a Eugene teenager charged with manslaughter are showing support for his future, as the teen remains in custody at a Lane County juvenile detention facility.
16-year old Emmanuel Herrera-Gutierrez was denied a release from custody on Friday, April 13th, 2012, in Lane County Circuit Court.
Herrera-Gutierrez is charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of third-degree assault after a high speed chase with Oregon State Police that lead to a crash in West Eugene.
The crash happened around midnight on March 17th, 2012. Oregon State Police says Herrera-Gutierrez, was clocked speeding more than 100 miles-per-hour on the Randy Pape Beltline Highway. Police say initially, Herrera-Gutierrez stopped the vehicle, but then took off, eventually running a red light at the intersection of West 11th and Bertelsen Road in Eugene, hitting a truck.
According to his defense attorney, Herrera-Gutierrez took his dad's car on the night of the crash to go get some food. Prosecutors and the teen's defense do not believe Herrera-Gutierrez was impaired by any substances on the night of the crash.
Two people died in the crash: 43-year old Toni Lynn Bryson and 62 year old Richard Lee Taylor.
Herrera-Gutierrez's defense attorney argued for his release on Friday, asking for a limited release with a electronic monitoring band to track his whereabouts instead of remaining in custody. The teen's defense said he is highly unlikely to commit any crime again and had no prior criminal history before the incident, arguing that this was a life-changing lapse of judgment.
Around 20 of Herrera-Gutierre'z friends, family and teachers from Churchill High School in Eugene attended Friday's hearing to support the teen.
“I think that's why we're here together today, just to try to heal,” said Lisa Iacovetta, a teacher of Herrera-Gutierrez's.
Before the crash, Iacovetta worked with Herrera-Gutierrez every other school day as one of his instructors.
Emmanuel's supporters say he's remorseful for the deaths and that ultimately he made a bad decision.
However, they're hoping he can still lead a positive life.
“The world can reach out with a little compassion to the victims of the tragedy, all of the victims, including Manny, this beautiful spirit,” says Iacovetta.
“And if we can have any sort of compassion then somehow, healing can really happen.. and it might take years.. it might take a really long time, but that's what we're hoping and praying for,” said Iacovetta.
Before the incident, along with no prior criminal record, teachers say Herrera-Gutierrez had no behavioral problems at school either. The teen was in special programs to make sure he was staying on the right track.
“He made other people laugh, and he had a really quiet joy,” said Iacovetta.
“There's many things that died in this tragedy and our heart goes out to everyone who's been touched so deeply and so profoundly. And for this young man, something else has died and we have to keep praying that life moves on,” says Iacovetta.
Correction officers at the Serbu Youth Center say Herrera-Gutierrez's behavior has bee “exemplary” since he's been lodged in the facility.
Herrera-Gutierrez will be back in court on April 25th, 2012 for another hearing. He has yet to enter a plea. He will be charged as an adult in accordance with Oregon's Measure 11.