A man accused of killing a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus driver in a road rage shooting in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, was denied bond on Thursday.
Darian Dru Thavychith, 22, has been held without bond at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte since he was arrested in March for the shooting death of Ethan Rivera on Feb. 11.
The judge sided with the prosecutor, who made the case that Thavychith is a flight risk and remains a danger to the community.
During the hearing, the prosecutor highlighted details of the day Rivera was shot and killed while driving a CATS bus in uptown Charlotte.
Rivera’s mother and fiancé also made a plea to the judge to keep Thavychith in jail and deny him bond.
“All we want is for him to be kept in prison where he belongs because his actions speak louder than anything else in regards to the person that he is,” his mother said. “If he did that to my son, what are the chances of him doing it again to anybody else.”
Thavychith’s lawyer argued that his client was not a flight risk due to the fact he was the one who called the authorities to turn himself in. The attorney also questioned whether it was actually Thavychith caught in the surveillance video on the night of the shooting.
Two rows of family and friends supporting Thavychith attended the hearing, many of whom sent the judge letters vouching for his character.
Among them was family friend Tai Little, who left the court disappointed after the hearing.
“We stand firm in the fact that Darian has not been convicted, and until that day happens we believe in his innocence and his right to return,” Little told WBTV.
According to authorities, Thavychith got into an argument with Rivera the night of the incident and later fired a shot into Rivera’s bus.