Fall trial expected in Lee in the 2008 death of Tia Poklemba

William DeShazer/Staff
Luis Gonzalez, enters the Lee County Courthouse on Tuesday May 7, 2013. Five months after his arrest in Mexico, U.S. marshals picked up Luis Gonzalez, in Mexico City and turned him over to the Lee County Sheriff's Office after a Mexican judge approved his extradition last week on felony charges of negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at a fatal crash scene.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Luis Gonzalez, enters the Lee County Courthouse on Tuesday May 7, 2013. Five months after his arrest in Mexico, U.S. marshals picked up Luis Gonzalez, in Mexico City and turned him over to the Lee County Sheriff's Office after a Mexican judge approved his extradition last week on felony charges of negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at a fatal crash scene.

Tia Maria Poklemba, who was killed in San Carlos Park on Pioneer Street

Tia Maria Poklemba, who was killed in San Carlos Park on Pioneer Street

William DeShazer/Staff
Luis Gonzalez stands next to defense attorney, Donald Day, at the Lee County Courthouse on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Five months after his arrest in Mexico, U.S. marshals picked up Luis Gonzalez in Mexico City and turned him over to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office after a Mexican judge approved his extradition last week on felony charges of negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at a fatal crash scene.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Luis Gonzalez stands next to defense attorney, Donald Day, at the Lee County Courthouse on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Five months after his arrest in Mexico, U.S. marshals picked up Luis Gonzalez in Mexico City and turned him over to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office after a Mexican judge approved his extradition last week on felony charges of negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at a fatal crash scene.

— Accused killer Luis Gonzalez may head to trial by September to face a manslaughter charge in the 2008 death of a Bonita Springs woman.

The family of victim Tia Poklemba attended a hearing Tuesday for Gonzalez, 28, during which the defense requested more time to prepare the case, including scheduling a reconstruction of the crash that took Poklemba’s life.

Her mother and two sisters were at the hearing, which lasted about five minutes. The family members declined to comment after seeing Gonzalez in the courtroom.

Poklemba was 25 years old in August 2008 when she was run over by a car later linked to Gonzalez. Passersby found her clinging to life in the road early in the morning, however Poklemba died of her injuries.

An arrest warrant was made for Gonzalez, who fled to Mexico. Acting on a tip, Mexican authorities located and arrested him in his stepfather’s hometown there last year and extradited him to Lee County, where he has remained in jail since October.

Defense attorney Donald Day said in court Tuesday that he would file a motion that Florida’s Justice Administrative Commission cover the costs of accident reconstruction, because his client cannot pay for it.

Lee Circuit Judge Edward J. Volz, Jr, who presided over Tuesday’s hearing, will have to sign off on the request.

Video recordings show Gonzalez and Poklemba at the same bar the night before her death.

Court documents released last year describe in detail the evidence that led detectives to Gonzalez, including human tissue on the vehicle and a bloody tire imprint at the scene on Pioneer Road.

According to a report by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office about a month after Poklemba’s death, Gonzalez confessed to his pregnant girlfriend at the time that he struck Poklemba with his car. He faces felony charges of negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at a fatal crash scene.

Gonzalez’s next hearing is scheduled for mid-July. Assistant State Attorney Dan Feinberg, one of two prosecutors assigned to the case, expects a trial to start by early fall.

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