A cyclist was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Mesa in the early-evening timeframe. Monday Aug 24, 2009. Police arrested Benito Gil-Mendoza, 31, on suspicion of aggravated assault and hit-and-run.
The azcentral story says the collision was 6:30p. Sunset that day in Phoenix is 7:03p. No mention of lights was made in either of the news stories.
How will this one play out? After all, three hours is a long time. The suspect will likely deny he was drunk at the time.
(story from East Valley Tribune)
August 25, 2009
Man arrested in hit-run of bicyclist, Mike Sakal, East Valley Tribune
Police arrested a man in connection with a hit-and-run crash in east Mesa that left a bicyclist seriously injured on Monday.
Benito Gil-Mendoza, 31, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and hit-and-run about 9 p.m., slightly more than three hours after he was accused of hitting the bicyclist on McKellips Road near Usery Pass Road, according to Mesa police.
The bicyclist, whose name was not released, suffered multiple pelvic fractures, a broken left arm and vertebrae and bleeding on the brain. He was flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital, according to police. His condition was not available on Tuesday.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer conducted a traffic stop on Gil-Mendoza on Loop 202 at Brown Road after his vehicle matched the description of the one leaving the scene, and said the driver had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.
When a sobriety test was administered on Gil-Mendoza, preliminary results of a portable breath test revealed his blood alcohol content was .21, more than twice the legal limit of .08, according to police
Plea and Sentencing
Maricopa County Superior Court case CR2009-155996.
The suspect accepted a plea deal; minute entry of 6/28/2010 sentencing document; which seems to say he will have to serve 10 years in prison for the aggravated assault, and the hit-and-run sentence is suspended but there’s something about 5 years parole. Gil-Mendoza began proceedings for PCR but i doubt that’s going anywhere, the minute entry from 5/23/2012 states “The Motion for Post-Conviction Relief is dismissed… The Defendant entered a plea agreement and the Court found that he knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily entered a plea…”.
This seems to be the normal way hit-and-run is handled; its seems as though there is typically not punishment for the crime of hit-and-run, only for the accompanying crime, in this case the aggravated assault.