More than nine months after his arrest, a San Ramon attorney charged in a hit and run death has yet to step inside a courtroom to face the allegations against him.
Spencer Freeman Smith's sole appearance has been to enter a not guilty plea last June, where he said nothing but a few whispered words to his attorney.
Smith was arrested on May 17, 2012 for the death of a bicyclist two days earlier and remains free on $60,000 bail. Bo Hu, 57, also of San Ramon, was either walking his bike or riding northbound on Dougherty Road near Fall Creek Road, when he was struck and killed. Hu was pronounced dead at the scene.
Smith, 33, was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run after police tracked parts found at the scene to his 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550.
"At the time of the accident, our officers responded and they collected three vehicle parts that were left at the scene," said Lt. Herb Walters at the time. "Each part has a serial number on it. They found that it belonged to a Mercedes."
Walters said officers then went to a Mercedes dealership, which tracked the numbers down and determined they came from a black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550.
"We asked them if they'd sold any 2012's and they said, 'Well, we can't tell you without a court order,'" Walter said in 2012.
He said police knew who their suspect was as soon as they got the list from the dealership.
"We called him, and he says, 'I'll be there in 20 minutes.' It turned out to be an hour and a half and he showed up with his attorney," Walters said after Smith's arrest.
A search warrant at Smith's home showed the car, with extensive front end and windshield damage. Walters said at the time that the damage matched the parts recovered at the scene.
Smith's sole appearance so far has been to enter a not guilty plea. He said nothing at that first appearance last June but a few whispered words to his attorney.
He's had a number of court dates set for a preliminary hearing, which will determine if the case will go to trial. A special attorney was appointed by the court to examine items seized in the police investigation that Smith claimed he needed for clients.
Meanwhile, the case keeps getting pushed back on the court's calendar. His next appearance is set for March 7, although it had been set for a preliminary hearing on Friday, Feb. 22.
Smith, who lives in San Ramon, is a partner at the San Francisco firm of Smith Patten. He practices employment law.
He is the second San Ramon attorney to get arrested in the last year. Lesley Regina was charged with a misdemeanor for receiving confidential documents. She has not appeared in court since her arrest in June of last year.