Fatal hit-and-run suspect held on $50,000 cash bail

State intends to present case to grand jury, according to prosecutor

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Fatal hit-and-run suspect held on $50,000 cash bail
Jerry Santiago appeared in Westborough District Court on Wednesday. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – A Worcester man is being held on a $50,000 cash bail following a fatal hit-and-run crash over the weekend.

Jerry Santiago, 24, has been charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene personal injury resulting in death.

Santiago was arraigned today in Westborough District Court. The judge ordered three conditions, including that he be placed on a GPS monitoring device, have no contact with the victim’s family and not to operate a motor vehicle.

During the arraignment, the prosecutor said that the state intended to present the case before a grand jury.

More information about the crash

The statement of facts reveals more information regarding the crash.

Just after 10 p.m. on Oct. 29, Shrewsbury police responded to a report that a pedestrian – who was later identified as Ghufran Mutar, 20, of Shrewsbury – was struck by a vehicle.

Mutar was transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center where she was later pronounced deceased.

According to the statement of facts, witnesses told police that she was struck by a vehicle traveling at a “high rate of speed” while traveling eastbound on Route 9.

“The vehicle that struck Mutar did not stop and continued to travel Eastbound on Rt. 9,” the court documents read.

Witnesses reportedly told police that the vehicle pulled into a nearby dealership where a man and woman exited the car to assess the damage before they got back into the vehicle and continued on Route 9.

According to the statement of facts, surveillance footage showed that the woman discarded a bottle from the vehicle. Police wrote that they recovered a bottle of tequila that was three-fourths filled with a pink liquid.

At about 1 p.m. Oct. 31, Westborough police located a vehicle at the Extended Stay America in Westborough that had “heavy front-end damage” that was consistent with still photos that were disseminated in a law enforcement bulletin.

Court documents state that investigators made contact with the owner of the vehicle and her daughter, who had been the female passenger. During the arraignment, the prosecutor told the court that the woman had let her daughter and her friend borrow the vehicle, who then went to a party.

The daughter told police that her boyfriend, Santiago, had been driving the vehicle, the statement of facts said.

“[The daughter] stated that she and Santiago both knew that they struck a person at the time of the crash,” the documents state.

She allegedly told police that Santiago “refused” to go back to the scene of the crash because he didn’t have a driver’s license.

Court documents state that Santiago has a learner’s permit.

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