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Judge Turns Down San Hamel’s Request to Get His Car Back – For Now

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At a court hearing on Monday, Judge William Hooks denied a request by Ryne San Hamel, 28, the driver who allegedly struck and killed bicyclist Bobby Cann, 25, while drunk and speeding, to get his impounded Mercedes back. However, San Hamel may be able to reclaim his car after the next hearing on Friday, November 8, according to Kate Conway, an attorney for Cann’s family.

The fatal crash took place on May 29 on the 1300 block of North Clybourn in Old Town. San Hamel is accused of killing Cann while driving 50 mph on a city street with a blood-alcohol content of .127. He has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI, misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and failure to stay in the lane.

At the previous hearing on September 23, the defense made an informal request to get San Hamel's Mercedes back. Also at that hearing, Hooks approved a motion by Assistant State’s Attorney Maria Augustus to amend the conditions of San Hamel’s bond so that he cannot drive, as well as the state’s request for random drug and alcohol testing for the defendant.

On Monday, the defense formally motioned to reclaim the Mercedes as well as personal belongings in the car, such as a computer and clothing, Conway said. Augustus responded that, due to the serious nature of the case, the state doesn’t want to return the vehicle until the investigation is complete.

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The judge entered and continued the defense’s motion, which means that while San Hamel will not get his car back now, the defense could re-present the motion at the November 8 hearing, according to Conway. At that point, the state would have to provide an affidavit, or some other kind of supporting evidence, indicating that the investigation is ongoing.

There was also a discussion of whether San Hamel could simply get his personal belongings back. For the time being, the state will maintain possession of these items, but that may be discussed at the next hearing, Conway said. At that hearing, there will also be a status report on discovery, the sharing of information between the two sides.

About 15 Cann supporters, friends of the cyclist and members of the local bicycle community, attended Monday’s  hearing, along with San Hamel’s family, Conway said.The November 8 hearing will take place at at 10 a.m. at the Cook County Courthouse, 26th and California, room 301.

Cann, who worked at Groupon, has been widely described as a safe biking advocate. To honor his efforts to promote cycling, on Friday, October 25, at 1 p.m., there will be a ceremony to mark the installation of an honorary street sign for him at Clybourn and Larrabee.

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