UPDATE: Michaels pleads not guilty to charge in hit-and-run death of Cesar Medina

Cesar Medina was killed in a hit and run Friday night in San Juan Capistrano. (GoFundMe)

Cesar Medina was killed in a hit-and-run last Friday night in San Juan Capistrano. (GoFundMe)

UPDATE  (Tuesday, October 6, 2015)

By Jonathan Anson, News Editor

Andrew Christopher Michaels, 19, of Laguna Niguel, entered a plea of not guilty after being charged with one count of felony hit and run with permanent injury or death at his arraignment today, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

The former Saddleback College faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted.

The plea, filed by Michaels’ attorney Dana Cole, was in response to the hit-and-run that caused the death of Cesar Medina, a registered student at Saddleback.

Cole said the actions of Michaels in trying to avoid the authorities were driven primarily by his chaotic mental state following the crime. However, Orange County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Coleman said Michaels did have time to consider his actions. He alleged Michaels shared text messages with a witness who constantly urged Michaels to turn himself into police. Coleman urged the judge to let bail remain at $500,000 due to Michaels being at risk to attempt to escape. He also held him to be at risk to the public after supposedly making a threat toward a witness. The judge set bail at $250,000 and ordered Michaels to return to court Oct. 16.


By Breanna Greenup

A registered Saddleback student was killed in a hit and run Friday night in San Juan Capistrano. Cesar Andres Medina, 23, was reportedly skateboarding across the street when a vehicle with tinted windows struck him. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the suspect was driving a Dodge Ram truck, which was later traced back to his residence in Laguna Niguel. Former Saddleback College student Andrew Christopher Michaels, 19, was arrested Saturday night in connection to the felony hit and run. According to witnesses the suspect’s vehicle failed to stop and left the scene. Medina was seen crossing on a green light, which had the “walk” sign.

Medina was crossing Del Obispo Street when the collision took place at approximately at 10 p.m. Police found him lying in the street where paramedics treated him on the scene and transported him to Mission Viejo Hospital. He died shortly after.

Medina’s sister Jenifer has started a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe.

It was at the hospital where doctors worked to save Medina’s life. Jenifer Medina was working in the emergency department that evening when he was brought in as a “John Doe.”

“I was suppose to be the one in the trauma room registering him but thank goodness I wasn’t. He was a Jon Doe at first, until the trauma team found his wallet, When i [sic] saw the wallet it looked familiar and when we open it and saw my brothers face on the ID. My whole world collapsed as i did,” wrote Jenifer Medina on the GoFundMe page.

Not knowing the identification of the driver, witnesses described the vehicle as “an early 2000 model, faded black-colored pickup truck with tinted windows,” according to a OCSD news release.

Michaels was arrested for felony hit and run, bail was originally set at $100,000 and was later increased to $500,000 according to OCSD spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock.

As of Monday, Oct. 5, the GoFundMe has raised over $11,000 in only two days.

“Andy had so many goals for his future and was taken from all of us too soon. I just want all the people he loved and loved him to get a chance to say their last good byes to him,” wrote Jenifer Medina.

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