Miguel Cerda arraignment

Miguel Cerda arraignment appears via video for an arraignment. (Photo: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

Man Charged In Hit-And-Run Death Of Wixom Teen Is In U.S. Illegally

June 14, 2018 - 3:11 pm
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NOVI (WWJ) - A 21-year-old man who police say is responsible for the hit-and-run death of a Wixom teenager has been arraigned on felony charges.

A woman was in the courtroom interpreting the proceedings in Spanish for the defendant, Miguel A. Ibarra Cerda -- a Mexican national -- who was visibly upset during the video arraignment in 52-1 District Court in Novi, Thursday afternoon.

Cerda is accused of crashing into 14-year-old Justin Lee, who was riding his bicycle Monday afternoon along Potter Road in Wixom, and then fleeing the scene. Police had said they believed Cerda may have been heading to Mexico when he was arrested in the Lansing area on Tuesday.

Cerda is in the U.S. illegally,  according to prosecutors, who said federal immigration officials have been notified about Cerda's arrest. 

He is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and reckless driving causing death.

Bond was set at $350,000 on the condition that, if he's released, Cerda does not leave Michigan, possess any firearms, have contact with the victim's family or drive -- and that he wears a GPS tether. He must also surrender his passport to the court. 

Lee was a freshman at Walled Lake Western where he played football. According to a message on a gofundme page -- which has raised more than $25,500 for memorial expenses -- Lee was known for his "kind-hearted nature, his sense of humor, and his love and friendship to his friends and family." 

His mother, Patty Warner-Lee, spoke outside the courtroom to WWJ's Stephanie Davis following the arraignment.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, June 18, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Wixom on N. Wixom Road. A vigil for Lee in Walled Lake Wednesday night drew hundreds of people.