George Alvarez is facing eight counts of manslaughter and an additional 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, court records show. At a hearing on Oct. 13, Alvarez was read the indictment in open court and entered a plea of not guilty.
Alvarez was arrested in connection to the May 7 crash that occurred near Minnesota Road and N. Bernal Road, in front of the Ozanam Center, a shelter for migrants and the homeless.
Brownsville police said at a news conference following the crash that a gray SUV ran a red light, lost control, flipped on its side and struck 18 individuals. Six were found dead at the scene and another 12 were injured. After the crash, an additional two victims died from their injuries
Police said the driver, identified as Alvarez, was uncooperative and gave several different names to police.
ValleyCentral reported after the crash that Alvarez has an extensive criminal history.
In an update released in August, Brownsville police said that a partial toxicology report revealed that Alvarez was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. State lab results that would show the presence of drugs in his system were still pending at the time, police added.
Alvarez’s bond was set at $3.6 million.
During the hearing last week, Alvarez’s defense team urged the motion for a reduced bond, which was denied by the court. A jury trial has been scheduled for Feb. 26, 2024.