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Credit: Shelby King/Racine Uncovered

 

**Updated 8 p.m. Jan. 8

Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac Thursday modified the bond for a 21-year-old Racine man police say fled the scene of a hit-and-run accident he caused Oct. 27 that left a local pastor seriously injured.

Demarkus Koker made his initial appearance Thursday in Racine County Circuit Court to be formally charged with a single felony count of hit-and-run causing great bodily harm. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines.

Koker was assigned a $10,000 signature bond on Dec. 17 that Bjelajac confirmed Thursday, but the defendant’s bond was modified so he cannot drive at all while his case is pending.

According to the criminal complaint filed Dec. 16, Koker was traveling east on Lindermann Avenue at about 30 mph and failed to obey the stop sign at Ohio Street. At the same time, Elliot Cohen, pastor of Abundant Life Ministries, was driving north on Ohio at about 35 mph after purchasing goods at Walgreen’s. Koker’s car struck Cohen’s pick-up truck, causing the truck to rollover and land in the front yard of 1037 Ohio Street and ejecting Cohen from the vehicle.

Police say Koker fled the scene, running east down Lindermann and did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident. A female passenger remained on scene and told officers she’d just met Koker earlier that day and that there was marijuana present in the car at the time of the accident. She was able to identify Koker in a photo lineup as well.

At the time of the accident, police believed Cohen’s injuries to be life-threatening. He suffered collapsed lungs, nine broken ribs and a broken collarbone as well as multiple cuts and bruises. Cohen did recover, though, and spent the weeks after his release from the hospital working with police to identify the driver of the car that hit him.

Additionally, there was some initial confusion over whether or not the silver Buick Koker was driving was stolen or not. Officers were eventually able to determine the car belonged to Koker’s girlfriend and that he had been driven home after showing up at the home of his children’s mother, the complaint reads.

Koker will next be in court Jan. 21 for his preliminary hearing.

Online court records indicate Koker has an open misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge filed in Oct. 2013.

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