Hit and run suspect in court

by: Russell Colburn Updated:

Carlton DeCosta
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The man accused of hitting a local motorcyclist and leaving him to die appeared before a judge today.

Prosecutors said 50-year-old Carlton DeCosta was behind the wheel of a Jeep Cherokee on Monday when it slammed into a motorcycle driven by Jeffery Morrill.

Those close to Morrill tell Action News he's a loving, energetic husband and father of four small children. 

According to representatives at UF Health, Morrill remained in their care Thursday morning in critical condition, but Morrill's pastor said he passed away Wednesday night.

In the J-1 courtroom, the judge appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Decosta and set his bond at $600,000 for his two charges.  He faces charges for leaving the scene of the crash and driving without a license.

Action News has learned Decosta is a habitual traffic offender with nine arrests for driving with a suspended license.  He hasn't had a license since 2005.

Florida Department of Corrections records indicate he was also sentenced in Duval County to four years in prison for aggravated assault with a weapon.  He was released in March 2011.

DeCosta will appear before a judge again on Sept. 11.