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A fight broke outside of Massachusetts courthouse on Monday following the arraignment of a man accused of fleeing the scene after fatally hitting an 11-year-old girl who was walking in a crosswalk with her stepfather last week.
Steven Toro, 22, of Lawrence, was arrested at home Saturday on six charges, including leaving the scene of a fatal crash and vehicular homicide, in connection with Jaydee Soto's death on Thursday.
A judge set his bail at $50,000 on Monday. Jaydee Soto's family, unhappy with the bail conditions, took matters into their own hands, racing to confront Toro's family outside of the courtroom. Court officers wound up having to separate sides in a fight that ensued.
"I mean, $50,000 bail?" family friend Kelley Frazier asked. "What is that?"
Frazier says the family wanted more accountability from Toro, and that the court failed to give them that.
"They believed in the justice system to help them put somebody away that did this," Frazier said. "This little girl did not deserve to die."
Police took at least one person into custody and another to the hospital.
Court documents show that Toro was tracked down after an anonymous tip came in that originally identified the suspect as his brother. However, after checking with Toro's mother in New Bedford, investigators learned that Toro's brother is attending college in Minnesota at the time of the hit-and-run and had not been in Massachusetts for more than a month.
Toro's mother then allegedly confessed to a Methuen officer that it was her other son who was behind the wheel of the car and that he called her after the fatal crash saying that he was too scared to turn himself in.
He is scheduled to return to court next month.