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Bail doubled for motorist accused of running over teen

A judge doubled the bail for a motorist from $25,000 to $50,000 Monday, three days after the truck he was driving struck and killed a 15-year-old boy waiting for a school bus on Redwood Avenue.

Christopher Steven Faibish, 21, of Central Point, faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and heroin possession in the death of Malachi Batty, who was a sophomore at Grants Pass High School.

Faibish's eastbound pickup truck crossed all lanes of traffic and struck the teenager on the sidewalk near Wineteer Lane just before 7 a.m. Friday. Batty died shortly after the accident.

Faibish admitted to using heroin in the previous 24 hours, and a fixed-blade knife found in his truck had tar heroin on it, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

"This is a horribly serious offense involving both drugs and loss of life," Josephine County Circuit Court Judge Michael Newman said.

Faibish faces a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Monday.

Newman asked Faibish, via camera from the Josephine County Jail, if he was aware of the charges facing him.

"Yes, your honor," was the response.

Batty's mother, Tina, told prosecutor Lisa Turner to pass along her feelings about the initial bail amount, saying Faibish should have no chance to be out walking around when her son won't be able to. A 10 percent deposit is required to post bail, so the amount originally was $2,500.

Turner said the family was too devastated to attend Monday's hearing.

Earlier Monday, Batty's mother left a message with the Daily Courier about raising the defendant's bail.

"Malachi doesn't get to walk any more. I think (Faibish) should be uncomfortable for a while," she said. "It's extremely disturbing."

At a candlelight vigil for Batty Friday at the high school, students remembered him as a quiet, kind boy with artistic talent.

Batty was an aspiring artist, who was home-schooled until entering high school. One of his works was a day from being completed when he died, and will be entered in the Best of the Best competition among 17 high schools. The exhibit will be displayed at the Grants Pass Museum of Art beginning April 7.

A search of court records shows no previous criminal record in Oregon for Faibish.

Faibish moved to Central Point from California, where tragedy visited his family more than a decade ago in San Francisco. When Faibish was 9 years old, in 2005, his 12-year-old brother was mauled to death by one of the family's pit bulls.

His mother was charged with felony child endangerment, but a jury was unable to reach a verdict and the case was later dismissed.

— Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or jduewel@thedailycourier.com