Suspect in Boise scooter crash waives hearing

Idaho StatesmanJuly 19, 2013 

Thomas MacFarlane

— The man accused of crashing his scooter, then dragging his seriously injured passenger for a block and a half before abandoning her on July 8 was bound over Friday to Ada County Fourth District Court.

Thomas Alex MacFarlane, 22, who finished his junior year this spring at Boise State University, waived a preliminary hearing during a brief appearance before Senior Judge Robert Taisey. He is charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident where someone was injured.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.

Defense attorney Gabe McCarthy asked that MacFarlane's $250,000 bond be reduced. Taisey did not rule on that request. It will be considered during MacFarlane's next court appearance July 31.

During MacFarlane's arraignment Monday, prosecutors said he admitted to drinking alcohol before crashing his moped near Garfield and Manitou streets before 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

His passenger, 30-year-old Mirika Bideganeta of Nampa, suffered a serious head injury, a spinal fracture and other injuries. She was found in the driveway of a residence on Manitou about 8 a.m. by a man walking his dog. Manitou is located in southeastern Boise, between South Federal Way and South Broadway Avenue.

A spokeswoman from Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, where Bideganeta is being treated, was not immediately available Friday morning to provide an update on her condition.

Bideganeta recently moved home to Nampa from Pocatello after accepting a job from a hair salon. She does not have health insurance and friends have established a website to solicit donations for her medical costs.

The website, at http://bit.ly/12nrn4L, reports $7,764 has been raised from 106 donors.

In a post to that site this week by her mother, Sandra Bideganeta wrote that the swelling of her daughter's brain and face continues to go down. Sandra wrote that Mirika is regularly opening her right eye and uses it to track movement by hospital visitors. Her right eye is opening but still has a lot of swelling and bruising, Sandra wrote.

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