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Preliminary hearing date set for man charged in SLO couple's death

Daniel Saligan Patricio.jpg
Posted at 10:21 AM, Sep 07, 2023

The man charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the deaths of a San Luis Obispo couple last year is due in court next week for his preliminary hearing.

Daniel Saligan Patricio has pleaded not guilty. He was arrested Feb. 27 and is accused of hitting and killing Matthew Chachere and Jennifer Besser as they were walking their dog early in the early-evening hours three months prior on Nov. 21, 2022.

San Luis Obispo police said Saligan Patricio was speeding along Sacramento Drive when he crashed, hitting the couple, a curb, a street sign, and part of a bridge.

The prosecution alleges he was also looking at text messages at the time.

Investigators said that while police were on scene investigating the crash, Saligan Patricio either did not know or failed to tell officers that he had struck anyone.

The bodies of Chachere, Besser and their dog were found more than a day later under heavy brush after family members reported them missing.

A pre-preliminary hearing in Saligan Patricio’s case took place Thursday, Sept. 7, in a San Luis Obispo courtroom where the defendant’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, appeared on his behalf.

A preliminary hearing date was set for next Tuesday. The hearing is an opportunity for both sides to present evidence and call witnesses before a judge will rule whether there is enough evidence in the case for it to move forward to trial.

Saligan Patricio's was previously granted his request to be released from custody; however, he has to wear an ankle monitor and was told to surrender his driver license.