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Hearing continued in SLT involuntary manslaughter case

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From page A12 | April 17, 2013 |

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RODOLFO HERNANDEZ appeared in court on April 15 for his involuntary manslaughter case. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

One of three men charged in the accidental death of a man at Mo’s Place in South Lake Tahoe last year appeared for a short hearing Monday morning.

Rodolfo Hernandez, 44, appeared with attorney David Cramer and a translator while Judge James R. Wagoner announced dates related to the case.

A motion to transfer the case to South Lake Tahoe is to be filed by Cramer by April 19, with replies on April 26 and May 1. A hearing to discuss the motion and further proceedings was set for May 3 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 1.

Cramer requested the Grand Jury transcripts, that were to be sealed until Monday, to continue to be sealed. The judge granted the request.

After the hearing was formally over, deputy district attorney Joe Alexander told the victim’s family that two out-of-custody co-defendants, Sean Canilao and Ruben Lizzaragga, had not appeared. Alexander later confirmed that warrants were requested for their arrest for failing to appear.

Hernandez is being held in custody over the death of Derek “Zippy” Penaranda, who died Oct. 17, 2012. The three accused were bouncers at Mo’s Place, a bar in South Lake Tahoe where Penaranda was celebrating his 30th birthday. Penaranda was allegedly asked to leave due to unruly conduct and punched bar owner Manish “Mo” Patel, knocking him unconscious. The three bouncers reacted and detained him, knocking him unconscious.

“By the time (South Lake Tahoe Police Department) arrives, the victim has been deprived of blood flow to the brain for long enough to put him into a ‘persistent vegetative state’ from which he never recovers,” said Alexander. He had no pulse, though through CPR, firefighters were able to regain a heartbeat.

Hernandez is being held on a charge of involuntary manslaughter and on an immigration hold with a bail of $50,000.

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