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Court Appearance for Suspect in Fatal Hit and Run

James Erdmann is accused in the hit and run death of Robert Joosten.

        The driver who Appleton Police say is responsible for the hit-and-run death of a Little Chute man last month appeared in Outagamie County court today.

        Police say James Erdmann was the driver of a red pick up truck that struck and killed 61 year old Robert Joosten on Wisconsin Avenue.

        This day in court has been a longtime coming for the family and friends of Robert Joosten.    Bond was set at $100,000 cash for James Erdmann, the 20 year old man who Appleton Police say is responsible for the hit and run crash.

    Erdmann entered the courtroom for his initial appearance in an orange jail jumpsuit with his hands and feet chained.

   The state highlighted Erdmann's driving record of 9 convictions for driving on a suspended license.

  The state also brought up a 2011 hit and run that result in a conviction.

   Although the criminal complaint states Erdmann was talking to his girlfriend when the accident happen and admitted to her that he hit someone, the defense said today that you can't always believe what you read. 

Defense  Attorney Ray Elstein, "I want to point out while the complaint might state girlfriend, this is actually an ex-girlfriend and to my knowledge there is no proof of the statements she made about the statements that my client.

Local Five's Donald Robinson talked to  Erdmann's dad yesterday, who stressed to him that his son is not guilty of the hit and run charge.

Erdman's preliminary hearing is set for January 14th.

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