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Suspect in vehicular homicide to remain jailed

LAWRENCEVILLE - A man accused of running down a young Lawrenceville mother while driving drunk and speeding through a residential area will remain behind bars without bond.

During a probable cause hearing Wednesday afternoon, Chief Magistrate Judge George Hutchinson said he believes 38-year-old Constantin Toncz - charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident - could pose a threat to the community if he were granted bail. Hutchinson also found probable cause to bind over all three charges to Superior Court.

During most of the proceeding, Toncz sat with his head down, occasionally glancing at his attorney.

Police said Sabrina Stanek, 25, died just after 9 p.m. June 7 in front of her Belmont Lane home when Toncz struck her with his Ford F-350, crushing her between his truck and another truck parked on the street.

Witnesses said Stanek, the mother of two young children, was trying to flag down Toncz to get him to slow down. Sgt. Christopher Ralston of the Lawrenceville Police Department testified Wednesday that neighbors witnessed Toncz speeding (the posted speed limit is 25 mph) and driving recklessly up and down the road just minutes before Stanek was struck.

Ralston also said that two mailboxes on the street had been knocked down, and that tire tracks at the scene suggested it was Toncz's truck that hit them.

After Stanek was hit, Toncz reportedly got out of his truck and asked a neighbor if he hit a garbage can. Upon learning he had hit a person, reports said, he parked the truck and ran down the street to the home of his ex-wife, Wendy Roberts.

Toncz's attorney, Donn M. Peevy, called Roberts to the stand as a character witness while addressing the bond issue. Roberts said that she and her three children were home that night when Toncz came running in.

"He said, "Call 911, I've hurt someone," Roberts said, visibly emotional.

Roberts said Toncz didn't leave the scene in an attempt to escape, but because he didn't have a phone with him.

On cross examination, Assistant District Attorney Bill Akins asked if Roberts smelled alcohol on her ex-husband. She said she didn't but that she was in shock.

"Everyone was upset and crying," she said.

Toncz also took the stand, telling the court that the construction company he owns is the primary means of supporting the family. He frequently wiped away tears and nearly choked up when answering Akins' questions about prior run-ins with the law.

Toncz has four convictions for driving under suspension and two for simple battery. He also has a pending charge of theft by conversion, Akins said.