Richard W. Stephens, who caused the deaths of two women in a fiery car crash last spring, will remain jailed indefinitely pending his sentencing this spring.
State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills on Thursday granted Stephens' attorneys a last-minute adjournment of a bail hearing he began last week, saying that he wants to hear from a number of spokesmen for both sides of the case so he can sentence Stephens "in a proper manner."
Tills scheduled a presentencing hearing for April 7 to allow spokesmen for Stephens, 19, formerly of Hamburg, and his victims to address him. He cited his court calendar as he indefinitely postponed Stephens' sentencing, which had been set for March 24.
Last Friday, Tills ordered Stephens, of Caldwell Place, Lackawanna, jailed after prosecutors presented him with evidence that he had ignored a court no-driving order and nearly hit a neighbor with his four-wheel-drive vehicle on Jan. 14.
On Dec. 30, Tills had allowed Stephens to remain free on $50,000 bail he posted last spring.
Stephens pleaded guilty a month ago to two counts of second-degree manslaughter and an impaired-driving charge in the deaths of Anne M. Szaturski and her mother, Josephine Nobile, on the Father Baker Bridge April 25.
A car being driving by Mrs. Szaturski, 55, of Hamburg, was rammed by Stephens, who was traveling about 80 mph. Her car exploded, killing her and Mrs. Nobile, 81.
Though Tills told Stephens' chief attorney, Herbert L. Greenman, and his other lawyers he is ready to reopen the presentencing bail hearing at their request, Greenman said he isn't sure when he will ask for a resumption of that session.
Stephens' wife, Jennifer, and several of his relatives declined to comment as they left the courthouse Thursday.
Lisa Cappellano, 36, one of Mrs. Szaturski's children, said she and other members of the victims' family came to court Thursday even though they knew they couldn't speak to the judge.
"We just wanted to be here for mom and grandma," Ms. Cappellano said. She said she is infuriated that Stephens seems to have "no remorse."
"You'd think the deaths would have been a wake-up call to him, but now we just want to make sure that Richard Stephens stays off the streets," she said.