Sentencing upheld for crash that killed bicyclist after COVID-19 delay

Sentencing upheld for crash that killed bicyclist after COVID-19 delay
Photo of David Garcia Jr. taken in 2018 at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After being forced to delay for roughly four months due to the pandemic, a sentencing hearing was held for a man who pleaded guilty to causing a crash that killed a bicyclist.

Court records show that David Garcia Jr., 22, changed his plea to guilty in January 2020 and his sentencing hearing was scheduled to happen in April. The state was under a mandatory Stay-at-Home order, so the hearing was postponed until August 5, 2020.

Garcia’s guilty plea to vehicular homicide is for the crash that happened on Monday, June 11, 2018.

Ron Guell, 71, was riding his bicycle on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard at around 7:30 p.m. when he was hit by a car that was going the wrong way. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for three days before succumbing to his injuries.

Garcia, who reportedly fled the scene, was arrested about a half hour after the incident by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. The deputy who made the traffic stop said Garcia smelled of alcohol.

Judge Bonnie Jackson sentenced Garcia to ten years hard labor, with the first three years being served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. He was also given credit for time served.

The additional charges for which he faced were all dismissed.

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