Defense to contest Tom’s no-bail status 

The defense attorney for Richard Tom, the accused drunken driver who allegedly caused a crash that killed an 8-year-old girl, called a judge’s decision Thursday to revoke Tom’s bail "illegal" and will appeal the ruling.

"Even Scott Peterson had bail. Even Delgado had bail," said Tom’s attorney, Bruce Kapsack, in reference to Edith Delgado, who is accused of causing a Menlo Park traffic accident that killed two members of the Tongan royal family. "This case doesn’t even come close to that."

On Feb. 19, 45-year-old Tom, driving a silver Mercedes-Benz, allegedly broadsided a Nissan Maxima at the intersection of Santa Clara Avenue and Woodside Road, killing 8-year-old Sydney Ng.

Ng’s mother, who was driving the Maxima, and a 10-year-old sister were also hospitalized. Their names are being withheld.

The family of the victim has declined comment. A preliminary hearing date has been set for April 24.

Tom’s bail initially was set at $50,000, which he posted shortly after the crash. Deputy District Attorney Aaron Fitzgerald said he was pleased by Thursday’s ruling, but would not get into details of the case.

Kapsack claims Tom’s blood alcohol level was measured at .04, which was taken two hours after the incident because Tom was receiving medical aid at the scene.

"Mr. Tom did not break any law," Kapsack said. "He’s extremely upset and in disbelief. This is a tragic accident that has been turned into a witch hunt."

Kapsack said state law can only prosecute on the .04 reading and cannot assume Tom was legally drunk at the time of the crash. Tom has pleaded not guilty to the charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

bfoley@examiner.com

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