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Attorney Charged in Fatal Hit-And-Run Has Hearing Thursday

Spencer Freeman Smith is charged in connection to death of Bo Hu, a Chinese national that was struck and killed by Smith's vehicle last May.

The San Ramon attorney charged with the fatal hit-and-run that left a Chinese national dead last May will have a court hearing in Pleasanton on Thursday, his attorney Bill Gagen said.

Spencer Freeman Smith is currently free on bail, as his slow-moving court case goes through the system.

On Thursday, a judge could rule on what information prosecutors can retrieve from Smith's electronic devices. Since Smith is an attorney, the court had to assign an independent person — called a "special master" — to look over Smith's electronic data, to protect Smith's clients from attorney-client privilege.

Out on bail, Smith has continued to practice employment law with his San Francisco law firm, Smith Patton. He won't attend the hearing Thursday, Gagen said.

The incident happened on May 15, 2012 at 11:30 p.m., when the victim, Bo Hu, 57, was struck by a vehicle and killed in the Dougherty Road and Fall Creek Road intersection, according to Dublin police.

Smith was arrested by Dublin police three days later, after officers searched his San Ramon home and found a black Mercedes with damage to the windshield and front end. The car was missing the same parts that were found at the scene of the crash.

"The question is did he [Smith] realize he hit a human being," Gagen told Patch in January. "He realized he hit something because there was a huge hole in the windshield. He called his insurance company the next day and left it parked in the garage."

Chris March 06, 2013 at 11:34 PM
CA motor vehicle code, see below, doesn't care what Mr. Smith may or may not have believed. He knew he had an accident and the law clearly states he must stop if someone has been injured which was the case. He las legally obligated to make sure no one was injured and by failing to do so may be sentenced up to 4 years in prison. Depending on the forensic data they may also be able to show gross negligence if he was speeding. If so they could tack on another 5 years. 20001. (a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004.
jen H March 10, 2013 at 03:19 AM
But from his attorney's comments, it seems that his defense is going to be that he didn't realize he had hit a person. If that were the case, then it rather looks as though the above section of the automobile code would very conveniently not apply. :-(
jen H March 10, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Thank you very much, San Ramon Patch, for this update on this case. Could you possibly clarify, please, whether the court date is Mar 14, or Mar 7? (Your article is dated Weds. Mar 6th.)
darkev March 10, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Even if we believe he didn't know he hit a person, he would definitely have realized after the accident, location and vehicle description were all over the news. He should have come forward right away if he's using that defense - not waited until police found him.
jen H May 10, 2013 at 02:26 AM
So did Spencer Freeman Smith actually make a court appearance in March? Or did he manage to obtain yet another delay? Since the initial reports just after the accident, this is the only place I've managed to find anything at all about the case. (Thank you, Patch!) There seems to be a blanket of media silence over it. Why? WHY?
Lisa G June 11, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Any update to this case?
D. June 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Any news?
D. June 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Just found this: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=8672331 Hearing delayed to late June.
jen H July 21, 2013 at 11:44 PM
For those following this thread and still hoping for some resolution in this case.......... according to a Patch report today, Spencer Freeman Smith is due in court in Pleasanton at 9 am on Monday morning (22nd July). I wonder what excuse they'll come up with for delaying the proceedings this time..... http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/attorney-charged-in-fatal-hitandrun-bike-collision-to-appear-in-court
Autumn Johnson (Editor) August 31, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Story update: http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/case-continued-for-attorney-charged-in-fatal-hitandrun-bike-collision
Autumn Johnson (Editor) January 15, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Brother of Bicyclist Killed in 2012 Hit-And-Run Says the Death Left Him in 'Overwhelming Grief' http://dublin.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/brother-of-bicyclist-killed-in-2012-hitandrun-says-the-death-left-him-in-overwhelming-grief

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