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Man pleads not guilty in USC hit-and-run

May 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man who allegedly pulled a critically injured USC student off the hood of a car his wife was driving pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident.Josue Luna, 33, entered his plea in Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles.

Luna's wife, Claudia Cabrera, 30, was allegedly at the wheel of a car that hit USC students Adrianna Bachan, 18, and Marcus Garfinkle, 19.

The students were crossing Jefferson Boulevard at Hoover Boulevard around 3 a.m. on March 29, when Cabrera allegedly ran a red light and slammed into them. Bachan died at the scene and Garfinkle was critically injured.

Prosecutors allege Luna got out of the Infiniti, pulled Garfinkle's body from the hood and left him on the street before the couple drove away.

A $235,000 reward and emotional pleas from Bachan's mother, Carmen, led to the arrest of Cabrera on April 2.

Luna apparently fled to Mexico. He was arrested April 18 in San Ysidro while crossing into the United States and released on $50,000 bail.

However, the court commission said Luna is a flight risk and increased his bail to $1 million. Luna was taken into custody after his arraignment, and will appear on May 26 for a preliminary hearing.

Cabrera is in jail in lieu of $1 million bail on a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. She pleaded not guilty April 6, and is due back in court June 29.

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