The San Jose man charged with dual misdemeanors for accidentally causing the death of a 13-year-old Fresno boy at Bass Lake reappered in court Tuesday, where a judge ordered a pre-plea probation report to review his case for sentencing.
Phat Chau, 55, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless negligence for piloting a jet ski June 27 that crashed into an intertube ridden by David Flores, 13, and his aunt Julissa Valenzuela, 16 at the time.
Flores was killed and Valenzuela was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with serious head injuries. She was later released to make a full recovery.
Madera County District Attorney David Linn said Chau, with no criminal history, is expected to plead guilty to both charges for the wreck.
“The court ordered a pre-plea probation report because we will not negotiate and we will not plea bargain on this case,” Linn said. “Defense wants to see what will happen once (Chau) enters a guilty plea to the charges.”
Punishments can reach up to two years in jail, Linn said.
No alcohol or drugs were involved in the wreck.
Chau’s attorney Michael Idiart said the facts of the case aren’t in dispute.
“It’s a tremendous tragedy when you have a young child killed,” Idiart said. “Obviously when you are negligent, there are consequences. We’re prepared to settle the case and try to find a resolution.”
The case will return Oct. 29 in the Sierra Division Courthouse at Bass Lake.