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Judge sets $3.5m bail in Nev. crash

LAS VEGAS — A rural Nevada judge set bail Monday at $3.5 million for a California teenager jailed in Las Vegas on felony drunk-driving charges in a weekend crash that killed five family members on an interstate northeast of Las Vegas.

Jean Ervin Soriano, 18, told Ruth Kolhoss, Moapa justice of the peace, he used to live in California, but now lives in St. George, Utah, and has no ties to Nevada, prosecutor Brian Rutledge said.

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Soriano did not name the California city, and said he could not remember his exact current address. He told the judge he had been arrested before, Rutledge said.

The judge set an April 10 arraignment date in Moapa and told Soriano he will be represented by a public defender, court clerk Deanne Hartson said. He could face eight to 20 years in years in prison if convicted of seven felony charges of driving under the influenc, causing death or substantial bodily harm.

Soriano was hospitalized for several hours after the crash at 2:53 a.m. on Saturday on Interstate 15 about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and taken to the Clark County jail, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.

An arrest report made public Monday said he told the arresting trooper he had ‘‘too many’’ beers before the crash. Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said several beer bottles were found in the 1999 Dodge Durango he admitted driving. Rutledge said results of a blood-alcohol test on Soriano were pending

The five people killed — three men, a woman, and a girl from Los Angeles, Lynwood, and Norwalk, Calif. — were in a Chevrolet Astro van that was hit from behind by Soriano’s Dodge Durango.

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