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Oneil Cruz updates: Bail set at $34,000; no sobriety test given on scene

Photo by Pittsburgh Pirates

Update: 6:20 p.m.

**An important development in the case, as reported below by the Post-Gazette.

If there was no sobriety test given at the scene, it could serve as a major factor in Cruz’s defense.

Three people were killed in the tragedy. But the motorcycle also apparently did not have lights, and the accident occurred around 1 a.m.

So, if the police cannot confirm how much, if any, alcohol that Cruz had ingested, then the defense could argue the whole thing was just a terrible accident given that it was late at night and the motorcycle had no lights.

Then again, Dominican Republic laws could be very different on all these issues than American laws.

Update: 2:05 p.m.

Oneil Cruz faces bail in the amount of $2 million Dominican pesos, which comes out to $34,000 US dollars, as part of what’s called a “coercion measure.”

According to Dominican Republic newspaper ListinDiario, “the Public Ministry requested three months of preventive detention” for Cruz while the case goes on. Instead, he will not be jailed at this time and will have to appear periodically before the court as the case makes its way through the legal system.

There’s still no word yet on the official charges.

This reporter in the Dominican has been on top of the story and is a good follow on Twitter.

Update: 12:25 p.m.

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Background information

Pirates prospect Oneil Cruz is expected to have an arraignment hearing today at 10 a.m. in the Dominican Republic following a traffic accident earlier this week in which three people were killed.

We will have the latest on the Cruz legal situation right here throughout the day.

Authorities in the Dominican believe Cruz had alcohol in his system at the time of the crash, which involved his car hitting a motorcycle that had three people on it. The incident occurred after curfew in the country, and the motorcycle did not have any lights.

The Pirates have attorneys in the Dominican handling Cruz’s case. The defense has claimed that Cruz was not under the influence of alcohol, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

We’ll find out more today from the arraignment about what charges Cruz could face. It has been reported that he could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Cruz spent this past summer in Altoona working out at the Pirates’ satellite training camp at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The highly rated shortstop prospect was a member of the Altoona Curve late last season and likely would have returned to the Curve next year.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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