By Alejandro Nicolas/ Staff Writer
Mario Ivan Palafox, 22, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Governor Deukmejian Courthouse for a pre-trial conference where his public defender, Elizabeth Warner, asked Judge Mark Kim for a continuance pre-trial in department S-20 on Wednesday, May 21, in downtown Long Beach.
Warner’s request was granted and the pre-trial is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4.
Palafox was charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last year in a fatal crash killing Elaine Logay, a math teacher at Santa Ana College, at the intersection of Carson Street and Clark Avenue.
Kim said, “This will be the last continuance I’m giving. We need to get this started.”
The pre-trial will consist of a hearing, which will allow Palafox’s defense either to make a plea bargain with the district attorney or move on to a “speedy trial,” Kim said. Palafox is out on bail of $100,000.
If Palafox does agree to trial on June 4, he will face possible sentencing of 15 years to life in state prison, which was mentioned by Kim.
The trial will be within 30 days from the pre-trial June 4. Kim asked Palafox if he understood all that was said and asked him not to drink or drive at all. Palafox agreed.
He was dressed in an untucked blue button-up shirt with black slacks, a red tie and blue leather loafers. He wore his hair long and spoke very gently.
Palafox said, “My lawyer told me not talk to anyone,” officially having no comment.
Palafox appeared relaxed in court. He was laughing and smiling, kissing and hugging his girlfriend, not talking about the case at first glance.
Yet when Kim appeared on the bench and court was in session, Palafox appeared nervous and anxious.
His face turned serious and he didn’t say a word.
Palafox was later seen in the hallways of the courthouse and on the corner of Magnolia and 3rd Street talking with his girlfriend.
They were not kissing and hugging or smiling and laughing anymore.