TOMS RIVER - Family and friends piled into an Ocean County courtroom Friday to show support for Beau Hendricks, accused of a crime they say he did not commit.
The 33-year-old Middletown man has been sitting in the county jail since Sunday, when he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshalls. "He's got no prior criminal history whatsoever," says his attorney, Mitchell Ansell. "Hardworking young man. And now he's thrust into this nightmare."
Hendricks is charged with a fatal hit-and-run accident involving a minivan he rented while vacationing with several friends in Puerto Rico in 2012.
Supporters say it was one of those friends behind the wheel, not Hendricks. They have raised nearly $50,000 for his defense.
"Basically, it's an innocent man sitting in the jail for no reason," says his friend, Brian Imbriale.
Hendricks will be released Monday since authorities in Puerto Rico have dropped their demand for extradition, but he will still have to go there to try and clear his name.
"He's going to be able to fly to Puerto Rico by himself," Ansell says. "When he gets there, he'll be taken into custody. Bail will be posted, and he plans on vigorously defending himself in Puerto Rico."
Hendricks' father will accompany him to the island Monday night.