The suspect in a crash that killed Fairport High School teacher Heather Boyum was arraigned in Penfield Town Court Thursday afternoon. Megan Merkel, 23, of Ontario pleaded not guilty to numerous charges including vehicular manslaughter.
Merkel sobbed inside the courtroom but didn't have much to say to the judge other than, "I will make my court appearances. I have no one to bail me out."
When asked leaving court, "The judge asked if you feel bad. Do you feel bad?" Merkel responded, "of course."
Merkel is charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, and unlicensed operation for not having a valid driver's license.
In an affidavit to police, Merkel's friend explains a night of partying that started around 8 p.m. Saturday night at the East Rochester Fireman's Carnival. The friend goes on to tell deputies that around 4:30 a.m., Merkel drove to her home in Ontario where she continued to drink until 6 a.m. Sunday. The affidavit says she then drove to another location to pick up her boyfriend.
The Sheriff's Office says at around 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Merkel's boyfriend, Mark Scerbo, was driving his motorcycle recklessly on Route 250 in front of Merkel's vehicle. After passing her car on the shoulder, deputies say Scerbo hit 40-year-old Heather Boyum, who was riding her bicycle. She landed on the road, where deputies say she was then run over by Merkel's car.
The judge set bail at $25,000 or $50,000 bond. Merkel's attorney tried to get that lowered, saying she's unemployed and attempting to gain custody of her two small children. The judge said she has a prior record that includes petty larceny and an assault charge in East Rochester.
Merkel is due in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.
As for Mark Scerbo, he was arraigned in the hospital for vehicular manslaughter and is being held without bail. He was discharged from Strong Hospital Thursday afternoon.