A suspected drunk driver charged in the killing of a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputy on the 101 Freeway in Camarillo was released from jail Friday after posting bail, inmate records showed.
Kevin Hogrefe, a 25-year-old resident of Camarillo, was driving under the influence of alcohol early Tuesday when he struck Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko and fled the scene, according to Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten.
The 41-year-old deputy had just finished conducting a traffic stop on the side of the 101 Freeway near Lewis road and was almost back to his vehicle when he was hit.
Kostiuchenko, an 11-year-veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was killed instantly, Sheriff Geoff Dean said.
After striking Kostiuchenko and narrowly missing two other deputies with his vehicle, Hogrefe continued driving northbound on the 101 until he crashed a short distance away near Las Posas Road, according to authorities. He was later arrested.
Hogrefe’s release comes one day after he pleaded not guilty to murder and hit-and-run charges. He posted bail Friday.
Prosecutor Rebecca Day said she planned to seek an increase in the bail amount, which had already been raised to $500,000, above the original amount of $150,000. A judge granted the bail increase request, the the Ventura County Star reported.
In a jailhouse interview with the VC Star, Hogrefe on Thursday said the crash was a “blur” to him. He said he recalled drinking seven beers on an empty stomach at a sports bar before driving away. The manager of the sports bar disputed Hogrefe’s account to the newspaper.
Hogrefe said he was “extremely sad and sorry” for the pain he caused the deputy’s family.
“I just hope they see … I want a second chance,” Hogrefe told the Star. “I would do anything for the (Kostiuchenko) family. I know they probably hate me because I took their dad. I put myself in their shoes, but I ask people to put themselves in my shoes.”
Hogrefe was initially been arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, but no drunken driving charges have been filed against him.
Hogrefe was convicted for a DUI offense earlier this year in Nevada, prosecutors said at Thursday’s hearing.
KTLA’s Melissa Pamer contributed to this story.