CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — The trial of a Lower Township man charged with aggravated manslaughter in the deaths of two teenage girls hit while walking along Bayshore Road is expected to take place later this year.

During a brief court appearance Thursday morning, First Assistant Prosecutor Rob Johnson said the next court date for Joshua Malmgren  would be the pre-trial conference, a hearing at which the trial date would finally be set.

Johnson said the trial could be set for late summer.

Malmgren, 30, faces two counts of aggravated manslaughter in the July 31, 2012, deaths of cousins Nioami Lazicki, 15, of Middle Township, and Ashley Dauber, 13, of Philadelphia.

The two girls were along the side of Bayshore Road when, according to investigators, both were hit and killed by an SUV at about 9:15 p.m. Malmgren, of Lower Township, was the driver of the Ford Bronco that struck the girls and prosecutors say he had been drinking and driving.

Lazicki's younger sister, Farrahanne, 14, was also walking with them, but was able to get out of the way before the SUV ran off the road in front of the Green Creek firehouse.

Malmgren was arrested at the scene, and on Thursday remained in the Cape May County Correctional Center in lieu of $400,000 bail.

During Thursday's court hearing, Malmgren stood beside his attorney, Brian Pelloni, but he did not speak.

Family and friends of the two young girls filled the courtroom and listened as Johnson told Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild about the status of the case.

Johnson said the two attorneys would be filing motions, including evidential motions about Malmgren's drinking.

Malmgren was indicted Nov. 27 and has since entered a not guilty plea.

The indictment charges Malmgren with two counts of aggravated manslaughter, a first-degree crime that carries a penalty of between 10 and 30 years in state prison.

As the case moved forward, family and friends of the two girls have asked Cape May County officials to institute changes along Bayshore Road.

Changes that have been or will be made include widening the shoulder, restriping the road and reducing the speed limit.

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