$1.2 million bail for driver that hit 2 Seattle protesters

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Attorney John Henry Browne, left, stands in view of a video feed as his client Dawit Kelete sits in a chair, right, during a court appearance Monday, July 6, 2020, in Seattle. Kelete is accused of driving a car onto a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one, over the weekend. Seattle has been the site of prolonged unrest over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE – A judge on Monday set a $1.2 million bail for the man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

Dawit Kelete, who is Black, drove the car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5 to protect a group of Black Femme March demonstrators, part of the Black Lives Matter movement protesting racial inequality and police violence. The car hit two people and sped away about 1:40 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Over the weekend, a judge found probable cause to hold Kelete on an investigation of vehicular assault.

But the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has yet to file charges against Kelete. It says it's waiting for additional required information from the State Patrol.

“A charging decision is expected by Wednesday afternoon,” spokesman Casey McNerthney said.

Kelete's lawyer, John Henry Browne, said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident” and was not intentional.

“There's absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” Browne told The Associated Press. “My client is in tears. He's very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.”

Kelete is originally from Eritrea and is a U.S. citizen, Browne said. He lives with his family in Seattle, and they’re very religious, he said.