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Preliminary hearing for man charged in SLO couple's death pushed to November

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Posted at 12:29 PM, Sep 12, 2023

The preliminary hearing for the man charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the deaths of a San Luis Obispo couple last year is now scheduled to take place in November.

Both sides met in a San Luis Obispo courtroom Tuesday morning where the judge continued the hearing for Daniel Saligan Patricio to Nov. 16.

His defense attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said he has not had enough time to review new discovery in the case.

Patricio was arrested Feb. 27 and has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the deaths of Matthew Chachere and Jennifer Besser as they were walking their dog 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 preliminary hearing date is set for Nov. 2 ahead of the preliminary hearing, which 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.

He was not in court on Tuesday.