WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — An East Providence man faced a judge Friday on multiple charges related to a crash that killed an 8-year-old boy in February.
Justin Preston, 35, was arraigned on charges of driving under the influence, death resulting, two counts of driving to endanger with physical injury, and operating a vehicle on a suspended license after his case had been transferred from Kent County District Court to Superior Court.
Police believe Preston was drunk when his SUV crossed the center line on Warwick Avenue (route 117A) on Feb. 26, hitting another vehicle head-on. Two children were in Preston’s backseat; Jahmeer Valles-Holloway, 8, died days later from injuries sustained in the crash, and a 2-year-old child was released from the hospital later in the evening after the crash. Preston and two other adults had been rushed to the hospital for treatment due to the crash.
Preston had initially been arraigned in his hospital bed as a bail violator. His prior criminal convictions, dating back to 2001, include domestic assault, carrying a gun without a license, possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, and driving on a suspended license.
In Friday’s hearing, Preston entered a plea of not guilty.
Bail was set at $25,000 with surety on the condition Preston continues going through a residential rehab program. He’s also prohibited from driving.