Bail maintained at $150K for suspect in Grass Valley DUI crash |

Bail maintained at $150K for suspect in Grass Valley DUI crash

Area first responders approach the burning vehicle ready to extinguish the fire.
Elias Funez/ |

A Smartsville man lost a bid in court Tuesday to have a $150,000 bond reduced in a drunken driving case from 2017.

Lawrence C. Alexander, 48, of Smartsville, is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, DUI causing injury, and driving on a suspended license in connection with the Nov. 2, 2017, collision on Highway 20 and Brunswick Road.

Alexander, who has been in custody since November, is set to return to court on Feb. 20 to enter a plea. He remained jailed Tuesday under bond.

Alexander was driving drunk during the “completely unprovoked” road rage incident and was aggressively following the other vehicle before ramming it, Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said during a Tuesday hearing. Walsh noted an arrest warrant was requested in December 2017, but Alexander was not picked up until a July 2019 drunken driving arrest in Truckee.

Walsh told Superior Court Judge Linda Sloven that Alexander’s blood alcohol content at the time of the 2019 arrest was over 0.20%, that he had a prior DUI arrest from 2013 in Nevada County and an open DUI case in Marysville.

“The people have very obvious concerns,” Walsh said.

Deputy Public Defender Thomas Angell told Sloven that Alexander had never received notice of a court date for the 2017 warrant, and added no blood alcohol test was obtained at the time.

Sloven, however, said she would not lower the $150,000 bond, adding, “The public would be at risk if he is released.”

Authorities say road rage led to Alexander crashing his white Chevrolet pickup truck into a gray Dodge pickup. The incident began on Highway 20, west of Harmony Ridge Road. The victim’s vehicle was in front of Alexander, who was aggressively tailgating the Dodge, reports state.

Alexander began to pass the victim as they approached Brunswick Road, turning his pickup into the Dodge’s path and striking it, sending both vehicles off the road, with Alexander’s pickup hitting a tree before stopping, California Highway Patrol reports state.

Alexander was taken to the hospital with major injuries and the other driver reportedly sustained injuries that included a broken hand.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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