Hit-And-Run Death Gets Driver 21 Years
A young man was sentenced Tuesday in the Van Nuys Courthouse to 21 years in prison resulting from the death of a pedestrian who was hit in a crosswalk last year.
Ernesto Lopez, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter, evading a law enforcement officer with willful disregard, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting an executive officer, grand theft auto and admission of gang allegations that enhance any sentence given.
Law enforcement officers were chasing Lopez, who was driving a stolen car, when the officers were ordered to stop the pursuit due to unsafe speeds, running of red lights and stop signs. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Lopez hit a pedestrian crossing Topanga Boulevard and eventually jump out of the car and attempt to flee on foot. The pedestrian later died at the hospital.
What Mr. Lopez failed to realize is that he would be much better off if he simply stopped when the police first requested and hired an attorney. Even if the vehicle you are in is stolen, you putting yourself in worse position by attempting to evade police officers and, as in this case, injuring or killing an innocent victim during your evasion. Many people fail to realize that with police and news helicopters these days, it is nearly impossible to successfully “run from the police,” and that attempting to usually results in additional criminal charges and longer potential jail or prison time.
If you have been charged with hit-and-run, evading a police officer, or grand theft auto in Downtown Los Angeles, the Criminal Courts Building, the Metropolitan Courthouse or the Airport Courthouse, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you walk into the courtroom. As mentioned in previous blogs, many times attorney Ross Erlich can get the charges reduced or even dismissed through a civil compromise or even an informal diversion program.