Marquese Haasan Gaines

Marquese Haasan Gaines

NORRISTOWN — A Norristown man awaiting trial for his alleged role in the 2018 overdose death of an Upper Merion man and charges he left the scene of a two-vehicle crash in Norristown that killed a Hatfield motorcyclist has lost his bid for a reduction in bail and release from jail pending trial.

Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter denied Marquese Haasan Gaines’ request for a reduction in bail and he will remain in the jail in lieu of $1 million bail to await trial in both cases.

Gaines, through his lawyer Ryan L. Hyde, filed an emergency petition for bail, claiming he tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation at the jail, “suffers from several conditions which are known risk factors for COVID-19 morbidity” and had been suffering chest pains while in the jail.

“Mr. Gaines can be safely and assuredly be supervised within the community,” Hyde wrote in court documents. “Mr. Gaines has both a wife and mother who live within close proximity to Montgomery County.”

But Assistant District Attorney Tonya Lupinacci opposed a reduction in bail for Gaines, arguing in each case he’s charged with a homicide-related offense and that he is a danger to the public.

“Both cases involve serious felony charges. The defendant has high cash bail on each case due to the severity of his conduct…,” Lupinacci argued. “His reputation in the community is that he poses a safety concern. The local police department sees him as a high-risk offender and objects to his release on bail.”

Lupinacci argued Gaines has access to medical treatment in the jail and that his ongoing medical condition must be weighed against other factors that are considerations for bail.

“This defendant is a threat to public safety and his bail was appropriately set both times and any reduction in bail should be denied by this honorable court,” Lupinacci added.

Gaines, 29, of the unit block of East Elm Street, faces charges of accidents involving death while not properly licensed, failure to stop and render aid, failure to notify police and driving without a license in connection with the alleged Aug. 30, 2019, two-vehicle crash that killed Timothy Manning Jr., 35, of Hatfield.

With those charges, detectives alleged Gaines was operating a 2013 silver Infinity G37 sedan and collided with a 2003 Yamaha dirt bike operated by Manning at the corner of East Airy and Violet streets. Gaines, who previously lived in Philadelphia, allegedly fled the scene on foot after the 9:09 p.m. crash but detectives used DNA recovered from the interior of the Infinity to link Gaines to the crash, according to court papers.

Gaines’ bail in that case was set at $100,000 cash. He is represented by defense lawyer Thomas C. Egan III in the hit-and-run case.

At the time of the crash, there was an outstanding arrest warrant for Gaines, issued March 25, 2019, and authorities had been searching for him for his alleged role in the Dec. 27, 2018, overdose death of Daniel Marinari, 53, whose body was discovered in the basement of a home in the 700 block of Hidden Valley Road in Upper Merion. With those drug delivery resulting in death charges, authorities alleged Gaines and two accomplices supplied the fentanyl and heroin that led to Marinari’s death.

Gaines’ bail in the alleged drug death case is set at $1 million. His trial in that case was originally set to begin March 30. However, the trial was postponed due to the emergency closure of the county courthouse as a precaution during the coronavirus outbreak.

The crash investigation began when Norristown police responded to the intersection and found Manning, suffering from multiple trauma and life-threatening injuries, on the roadway near his “motocross-type vehicle.” Police found the second vehicle, the Infinity sedan, unoccupied and determined the driver had fled on foot, according to the criminal complaint filed by county Detective David Schanes and Norristown Detective David Mazza.

Manning, of the unit block of Garfield Avenue, Hatfield, was airlifted to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia for emergency surgery and was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m. Aug. 31, court documents indicate. An autopsy subsequently determined Manning died from blunt impact trauma of the torso.

Investigators obtained surveillance video from street cameras in the area, court papers indicate.

Detectives determined Manning’s cycle was traveling west on East Airy Street at an unknown speed and with no lights and the Infinity sedan, ultimately determined to be operated by Gaines, was traveling southbound on Violet Street.

“The car pulled out into the path of the motorcycle. The rider of the motorcycle applied his brake and then laid the motorcycle down on its side,” Schanes alleged in the arrest affidavit. “The motorcycle struck the left front bumper area of the car. The driver of the car then exited his car and fled from the car on foot.”

Investigators determined the Infinity sedan was owned by a Norristown woman, who told police she allowed Gaines to use her car on Aug. 30 in exchange for crack cocaine, according to the criminal complaint. The woman told detectives Gaines later called her to tell her that he had been in an accident and instructed her to report the car stolen, according to court documents.

Gaines allegedly told the woman that after the crash he got out of the car and walked over to Manning, who he described as “taking real deep breaths, like he was hurt real bad.”

The vehicle’s owner told detectives Gaines told her that he ran because “he was dirty, he had a bunch of drugs on him, he also ran because he knew he was wanted for a fentanyl case in Montgomery County,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Court papers indicate Gaines was taken into custody on Sept. 25, 2019, and initially charged with drug delivery resulting in death in connection with Marinari’s overdose.

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