Man accused in fatal Haight-Ashbury crash in court

A 22-year-old man accused of killing two men while fleeing from police in a stolen car early Tuesday appeared in San Francisco Superior Court on vehicular manslaughter charges this morning for the first time since his arrest.

Richard Gosnell, of San Francisco, walked with a pronounced limp into the courtroom today, with a cast on his left forearm and shoulder-length hair settling over an orange prisoner’s sweatshirt.

His temporary attorney declined to enter a plea on Gosnell’s behalf and requested the arraignment be postponed until an attorney is appointed to handle the case. He is scheduled to reappear with his attorney Monday.

Gosnell is alleged to have been driving a stolen silver Saturn sedan at about 4 a.m. Tuesday when police in the Haight-Ashbury District ran the license plate and attempted to stop the vehicle.

Gosnell allegedly fled from police and at about 4:30 a.m. drove through a red light at Divisadero and Page streets, slamming into a red Chevrolet and killing the car’s two occupants, Kristopher Bratt, 20, of Mill Valley, and Alfonzo Felipe Cortez, 36.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has charged Gosnell with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of auto theft, one felony count of possessing a stolen vehicle, one felony count of evading a police officer resulting in the death of another person, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license.

Gosnell has a prior conviction in 2006 for burglary, for which he received three years’ probation, a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office said this morning.

Gosnell has been ordered held on a no-bail status.

The only passenger in the Saturn, 22-year-old Joshua Wilson, has not yet been charged pending additional investigation into the accident, according to the district attorney’s office.

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