Obdulia Sanchez, 18, sobbed as she entered the Merced County courtroom Friday, and a bailiff handed her tissues.
Sanchez will remain in jail after Merced County Superior Court Judge David Moranda refused to lower bail, which is set at $560,000. Moranda said it was on probation officers' recommendations, and that Sanchez had a prior reckless driving case as a juvenile.
Defense attorney Ramnik Samrao asked the judge to either lower the bail or allow his client to go free pending the case. He said that she has lived in group homes and has no way of raising that large sum.
Sanchez's 14-year-old sister was killed in the crash. Samrao said his client's behavior was her response to being pulled away from her dead sister.
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The teen has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts that include gross vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving resulting in injuries. She could spend more than 13 years in state prison if convicted of all the charges.
When first responders arrived on the scene, Sanchez refused to cooperate, kicking a paramedic in the face, so they strapped her to a gurney, according to police reports in her court file.
An officer reported that she gave off a strong smell of alcohol and refused an alcohol screening. Medical records from the hospital where she was treated show that she was drunk, the police reports say.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.