Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who pays the hospital bill?

On August 5 Luis Ramirez-Arguelles was driving west on Tryon Grove Road, when his car hit the eastbound car of Sonia Hume head-on, killing her and injuring him. Ramirez-Arguelles was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

On August 9 he was charged with Reckless Homicide, a class 2 felony. (Case No. 11CF000770)
According on online court records, on August 15 he was advised of his rights in a hearing in the Jail courtroom.

On August 15 charges were filed against Ramirez-Arguelles for Murder. (Case No. 11CF000804)
On August 17 a public defender was appointed for him in Rights Court in the jail.

His next court date is Friday, August 19, in Courtroom 302, that of Judge Condon.

Was Ramirez-Arguelles under guard at the hospital, after he was transported there on August 5? If the crash happened on August 5 and he wasn't charged until August 9, what kept him from leaving the hospital, even against medical advice, by just walking or hobbling out? Could he have just left?

But, if he was guarded there, by what authority was he placed under guard? Was a sheriff's deputy there guarding him or was he guarded by a corrections officer (CO)? If he was guarded by a CO but if he hadn't been arrested yet, what was the legal authority and responsibility of any CO who was there to guard him? And what about the liability of the CO and of the Sheriff's Department and the County?

And who is responsible for his medical bills? Is Ramirez-Arguelles financially responsible for his transportation expense to the hospital, emergency room care and in-patient hospital expenses and physician treatment? Or is the County on the hook for those expenses because of his detention and arrest? has the most complete summary of this crash and arrest so far. Today's Patch article includes this statement: "The Sheriff’s Office Traffic Crash Investigation Unit conducted an investigation which included additional interviews which led to the charges against Ramirez."

One of these days we'll learn what allowed MCSD to jump from Reckless Homicide to First-degree Murder.

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