Santen’s hit-and-run hearing continued |

Santen’s hit-and-run hearing continued

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

The early settlement conference for Joseph Santen, the Tahoe City man charged on suspicion of murder of a North Tahoe man, has been continued until Feb. 8.

Placer County sheriff’s detectives allege that Santen, 35, hit Brad Reilly, 27, with his Jeep while driving on Highway 28 near Lake Forest in Tahoe City late on July 16.

Santen is charged on suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving in the death of Reilly, who was riding his bike at the tim. He is also charged on suspicion of misdemeanor offenses ” driving with a suspended or revoked license, and driving while intoxicated with blood alcohol content greater than .08.

Santen pleaded not guilty to the charges July 27.

Santen may face a jury, but the question of if and when remain.

“If we the people believe the ends of justice are met … then we’ll do that. If not we’ll go to trial,” said Placer County Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran. “As it stands today, we have not come to an agreement with the defense that we believe addresses justice in this case.”

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Santen at his Tahoe City residence almost three hours after the 11 p.m. collision, Cattran said in a previous interview with the Sierra Sun.

Officers said Santen appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of his arrest, and has three previous convictions of driving under the influence, said Cattran.

Cattran would not comment on the blood alcohol content at the time of the collision of either Santen or Reilly.

Santen remains in custody in Auburn.