Cronan pleads not guilty
Citing her concern for public safety, a Nevada County Superior Court judge refused to reduce bail for Patrick Cronan, 20, accused of assaulting a man with his skateboard.
Cronan appeared in court Thursday morning with his private attorney, Stephen Munkelt. He pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and battery with serious bodily injury.
Cronan refused the services of a public defender Monday.
Munkelt asked Judge Julie McManus to reduce Cronan’s bail, now set at $75,000.
“(Cronan) is a Type I diabetic and he needs to be constantly monitored for blood sugar,” Munkelt said. “It’s not practical for him to run away. His illness, without regular treatment, could cause him to die within 24 hours.”
Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson said “bail should be raised, if anything.”
Cronan’s alleged victim, Josh Harkins, 25, is hospitalized with brain injuries. He remained in critical condition Thursday, said hospital spokeswoman Robin Montgomery.
“Holes have been drilled in this kid’s head,” Ferguson said. “He’s in an induced coma. We’re hoping he won’t die and this won’t turn into a murder offense.”
Harkins’ mother, younger siblings and a male family friend were present in the courtroom Thursday. A bailiff admonished the man for looking at Cronan, who was across the room sitting with other inmates.
McManus, who sentenced Cronan to probation last month for a series of burglaries in Grass Valley, denied Munkelt’s request.
“My primary consideration is that (Cronan) will lose his temper and kill someone,” she said. “Public safety is my primary consideration.”
Witnesses told police Cronan hit Harkins in the head with the trucks of his skateboard as Harkins was trying to break up a fight Friday at Condon park.
Cronan’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 21 in Nevada County Superior Court.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@the union.com or call 477-4236.
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