Teen pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run that left skateboarder dead

RENTON -- Family and friends packed into a juvenile justice courtroom Thursday in support of a 16-year-old boy accused of hitting and killing a skateboarder.

The boy made his court appearance with his mother and grandmother seated beside him. Several other family members stood behind him as he pleaded not guilty to felony hit-and-run.

Police said the teen struck and killed 17-year-old Andrew Finnell in Renton on Sunday -- and then drove away from the scene.

Finnell was pronounced dead two days later.

Investigators found the driver after witnesses identified him through Facebook.

After the hearing, the boy's defense attorney spoke about how the boy's mother is holding up.

She's obviously very shaken by what it is that has happened," defense attorney Jim Conroy said. "And they extend their sincere condolences to the family of the victim in this case.  It's a very tragic case for everybody involved."

The 16-year-old has been released to his family, but has not been allowed back to his classes in the Renton School District.

Prosectuors say they didn't file a vehicular homicide charge because it did not appear alcohol or speed were involved.

If convicted of hit-and-run, the most time he would likely serve is nine months in detention.

KCPQ photo