More than two years after his indictment by a grand jury, a trial date was set for a former Fort Hood soldier accused of a second-degree felony after a Killeen accident that left another soldier dead in 2017.
At a special hearing on Monday in the 264th Judicial District Court, a trial date was set for Aug. 3, said Assistant District Attorney Mike Waldman, who is prosecuting the case.
Sylvester Hiroyuki Hernandez, 35, who was a soldier with Fort Hood’s 15th Military Intelligence Battalion, was indicted on Feb. 7, 2018, on a charge of racing on a highway causing death.
An accident during a street race on Dec. 17, 2017, resulted in the death of Kali Athinos Strongheart, 28, of Fort Stewart, Georgia. Strongheart was originally from California and called himself a “biker and a car enthusiast,” according to his Facebook page.
Racing on the highway, usually a misdemeanor offense, becomes a second-degree felony if “an individual suffered serious bodily injury or death,” according to the Texas Transportation Code.
Strongheart was traveling south on Bunny Trail at a high rate of speed Dec. 17 when he failed to negotiate a curve, according to Ofelia Miramontez, Killeen police spokeswoman, previously. He then crashed his green Dodge Challenger into the front of a house in the 3500 block of Barbed Wire Drive in Killeen, according to the affidavit for arrest for Hernandez.
Strongheart was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 18.
Police became aware of Hernandez’s connection to the accident after speaking to a witness that received a call from Hernandez in which he informed her that he was racing with Strongheart when Strongheart lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the house. A Ford Mustang with a missing a bumper was found in a nearby field that investigators determined to be registered to Hernandez, police said.