A Tulsa County judge agreed Tuesday to raise the bond against the driver of a pickup truck that struck a McAlester police officer who later died from injuries.

Tulsa County Special Judge Rodney Sparkman agreed to raise the bond against Martin Rivas Rodriguez from $75,000 to $250,000 following a Tuesday hearing.

Prosecutors wrote in a motion to strengthen bond that Rodriguez was “an extreme flight risk” and asked for his bond to be raised to $500,000.

“The current bond on (Rodriguez) is not sufficient,” Tulsa County Assistant DA Joseph Costa wrote in the motion. “Due to the seriousness of the crime, the likelihood of conviction, and the lack of ties to community, the state believes this defendant is an extreme flight risk.”

Rodriguez, 39, listed on court records with a Tulsa address, was charged in Tulsa County District Court with felony counts of first-degree manslaughter-automobile and causing a fatality accident without a valid driver’s license in the death of McAlester Police Patrolman Joseph Barlow.

He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and no valid driver’s license. Records show U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a hold on Rodriguez.

Court records show an individual posted Rodriguez’s initial bond of $3,000 on March 20 prior to a judge issuing a bond of $75,000 on March 22.

Barlow died March 20 at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa from injuries received in a head-on collision during an escort for fallen McAlester Police Capt. Richard Parker.

Several officers from the McAlester Police Department travelled to Tulsa on March 17 to escort Parker from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home in Wetumka.

The Glenpool Police Department said officers were notified around 6:27 p.m. on Friday, March 17, of a head-on collision on Highway 75 just north of 151st St. South.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case states a Spanish-speaking officer was dispatched to the scene after officers spoke with Rodriguez following the collision.

Rodriguez told officers he was driving a Ford F-250 truck “when a red car in front of him came to a stop,” the affidavit states.

“Rodriguez said he braked suddenly which caused the F-250 to depart the roadway and strike the McAlester PD unit,” the affidavit states.

According to the motion filed by the Tulsa County DA’s Office, Rodriguez “drove his car into the center lane of the road and hit the guardrail, causing the vehicle to launch into the air and collide head-on with a police vehicle being operated by McAlester Police Officer Joseph Barlow.”

The motion states after Rodriguez was detained, the man refused to give officers his date of birth “for several minutes.”

After Rodriguez was read his Miranda Warning and the implied consent “a blood specimen was taken on the scene by EMSA,” the motion states.

“Post-Miranda, the defendant stated he was swerving to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of him,” the motion states. “Though this is unconfirmed by the passenger of the vehicle and disputed by witnesses at the scene.”

A Tulsa County judge granted a search warrant for the vehicle.

A preliminary hearing is set in the case for April 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Tulsa County Courthouse.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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