Man accused in fatal crash appears in court

FRESNO, Calif.

At the same time, defense attorneys are trying to poke holes in a police investigation.

18-year-old /*Austin Jantz*/ answered to several felony charges for hitting and killing 20-year-old /*Shawn Schulte*/ in January.

Monday's preliminary hearing focused on speed and alcohol. Defense attorneys pointed to specific calculations listed in police reports as they had some heated exchanges with the detective who investigated the fatal crash.

With a picture of a loved one lost on their chests, and death still fresh in their hearts, family members listened for the first time to details of Shawn Schulte's death.

"We weren't there and we can't really assume everything that happened. But to hear all the actual details of how fast the car was going, how fast everything happened, it's pretty unbelievable," Haylee Hauschel, the victim's cousin, said.

Much of Monday's testimony centered on intricate details and measurements taken by collision reconstruction detective Jason Musser.

Defense attorney Jim Wasson is trying to prove his 18-year-old client wasn't speeding when he struck and killed Schulte.

But the detective refused to pinpoint the exact speed Austin Jantz was traveling when his pickup hit Schulte.

"I will always give you a range of speed. Any competent reconstructionist, whether he's a well educated engineer or just a simple detective like me will never tell you, this car was going 27.380 at the time of this crash. They're always going to give you a range, he was going between 27 and 33," Musser said.

From the beginning, Jantz' attorney claimed his client quickly left the scene of a party because a group looking for a fight was chasing him. Seconds later he hit Schulte and left the area. Police tracked him down two miles away, not long after the collision.

On Monday, defense attorneys also pointed out the victim's blood alcohol level was 0.23 when he was hit.

Still, Schulte's family says Jantz' blood alcohol level is what's important and he should be held to answer.

"We just want this kid and everyone out there that drinking and driving is not ok, and I don't care what anyone says in the courtroom, it doesn't excuse drinking and driving," Hauschel said.

A judge will decide whether Jantz should be held to answer on charges of felony DUI, hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter.

The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday.

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