A 38-year-old Inglewood man accused of killing a Santa Monica mother in a hit-and-run incident in October 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to one year in County jail moments after he pleaded no contest.
Jesus Cazares, 38, was scheduled to appear Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court for a preliminary hearing, where the judge, deputy district attorney, and legal representation of the accused would determine if there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
However, before the hearing, Cazares reportedly entered his no contest plea to one felony count and one misdemeanor count. The judge then sentenced Cazares to serve one year in a Los Angeles County jail, three years of probation, and six months in an alcohol program.
The felony charge was for leaving the scene of an accident; Cazares also faced a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter, according to reports.
If Cazares reportedly fulfills the terms of his probation, he will not have to serve a suspended three-year term in State prison.
In October 2013, Santa Monica resident Elisa Alvarez was at the 300 block of Oak Street between Nectarine and Olive streets in Inglewood just after 10 pm on a Saturday night when she was struck by a pick-up truck. At the time, Alvarez was reportedly placing her cousin’s child in a car seat.
The impact of the crash reportedly forced Alvarez’s body to be thrown 30-feet away; she died of her injuries after being transported to a hospital.
As previously reported in The Mirror, Cazares turned himself in to Inglewood police the afternoon of Oct. 20, one day after the incident.
Cazares initially pleaded not guilty to the felony count of leaving the scene of an accident and misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter.
Alvarez’s son Crystyan Fernandez, who was 22 in October, set up a page on GoFundMe.com to help raise money for his mother’s medical and funeral costs. The goal was $18,000; however, only $8,713 was raised.
According to a Letter to the Editor written to The Mirror by Jaime S. Cruz, Alvarez was a housekeeper here in Santa Monica. She was also a single mother; Fernandez was her only child.
Fernandez, who was taking classes at Santa Monica College last semester, was one of Cruz’s students.