Dijivis Temes Paul also filed a motion to replace his public defender with a lawyer with “adequate time, staff and resources” to pursue his case.

PANAMA CITY — A driver accused of being distracted when he swerved off the road and fatally struck a pedestrian has been denied a request for a lower bond in order to allow him more time to “study” his case.

Dijivis Temes Paul, 23, appeared in court Thursday during a motion hearing for a bond reduction he filed himself. He has been in jail since Sept. 28 after a hit-and-run crash that left a pedestrian, 35-year-old Trinidi L. Coalson of West Point, Ga., with fatal injuries. Paul was charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash involving death and has since been held on a combined bond of $75,000, court records stated.

Paul’s motion hearing Thursday centered around a request for a bond reduction after he filed a motion to replace his public defender with a lawyer with “adequate time, staff and resources” to pursue his case.

“My family is not financially stable to pay the posted amount, and if I was to be released I would be able to return to work and also have better resources to be able to study for my case,” Paul wrote. “I also haven’t been in any trouble since 2009 and I recently completed felony probation.”

Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet dismissed the request, however, saying Paul would have to go through his defense attorney for a bond reduction.

The crash happened about 6:30 a.m. Sept. 28 in the 900 block of East Avenue in Panama City. The Panama City Police Department reported Coalson was walking on the shoulder of East Avenue when a car driving the opposite direction hit her.

According to PCPD reports, Paul was the driver and was “distracted by something within the vehicle” at the time of the crash. PCPD Chief Scott Ervin said witnesses did not clarify the type of distraction, but officers reported it was sustained for some time.

“The distraction was such it caused (Paul) to drive several feet in the bicycle lane where a white female pedestrian was walking,” officers wrote. Paul “struck the pedestrian with the vehicle he was in physical control of causing her death as a result.”

Paul allegedly fled the scene but was followed by witnesses. About 10 blocks away, he was pulled over by police and taken into custody.

Coalson was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.

Paul has been tentatively scheduled for a jury trial June 18.