BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As a 15-year-old, he can’t vote. He can’t buy alcohol, or get a passport without a parent’s help.
And he’s not allowed to drive. But Jace Springer’s mother allegedly gave him the keys to her Dodge Challenger in June for what she expected would be a quick errand. Both have since been embroiled in legal proceedings.
Jace took the car for a spin with three passengers, traveling at speeds of 100 mph and leading police on a chase, according to court filings. He crashed into a tree. One of his passengers died.
On Wednesday, having admitted to all allegations filed against him — including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and fleeing the scene — Jace appeared in juvenile court for a hearing to decide if he’s eligible for deferred entry of judgment.
Such a finding would result in a probation term and various court-ordered rehabilitation. If his performance is satisfactory, charges would be dismissed.
But Judge Wendy Avila indicated during the brief hearing that probation has found him unsuitable for the program.
Avila postponed a final decision to next month so his attorney can file a response. If he’s ultimately found unsuitable, he will be allowed to withdraw his plea.
Authorities say on June 10 Jace drove at 100 mph before careering through Polo Community Park. Police chased him and he hit a tree as he attempted to turn from Noriega Road onto Philadelphia Avenue, reports say. Jace ran but was caught soon after, according to the documents.
A passenger suffered major head trauma and died on June 22, reports say. The other passengers received injuries, and Jace had a broken right arm and right ankle.
His mother, Candie Springer, 45, told police he wasn’t supposed to pick up anyone, according to the documents. She said she gave him the keys for a quick trip to the market.
Candie Springer is facing a felony child cruelty charge and a misdemeanor charge of allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle. She has a preliminary hearing scheduled next month.