Sentencing for Los Banos hit-run driver postponed

September 4, 2013 5:22:49 PM PDT
The sentencing for a hit-and-run driver who killed an army reservist was postponed for the sixth time.

Jesse Fuentes has pleaded guilty for leaving the scene after running over Fernando Buenrostro Junior.

The victim's father says months of waiting for the sentencing has been difficult for his family. But he's using this time to prepare for when he finally gets his chance to address the court.

A home filled with pictures and other memories of Fernando Buenrostro Junior greeted his father after yet another continued court date.

Fernando Buenrostro Sr. said, "It's nothing like on TV right where okay, done deal, and your shows over in an hour, it just keeps going, you know?"

Fernando Senior has stayed busy researching the crash that killed his son, and decorating his room to resemble army barracks.

"I got two of the original army bunk beds up there for him," said Fernando Buenrostro Sr. "Me and my 7-year-old son camo'd out one wall, I'm always thinking of him, you know."

The National Guard soldier was killed in March while riding his motorized scooter in an intersection.

A police report shows the 18-year-old ran a stop sign before Jesse Fuentes hit him with his truck, dragged him nearly 200 feet, and left the scene.

Officers arrested Fuentes four days later, and he pleaded guilty to the crime in May. But his sentencing has been postponed six times.

"The first one the probation wasn't prepared by that sentencing date," said Deputy District Attorney Travis Colby. "After that, they've been at the request of defense counsel to prepare his statement for the sentencing."

Colby says that was the case again Wednesday morning. "We objected, but everybody is entitled to representation of an attorney who's prepared, and if he wasn't prepared to proceed today, then he's entitled to a continuance, and the court granted that."

Fuentes is facing up to four years in prison. His parents told Action News they're very sorry for their son's mistake, but he's not a bad person.

Still, Fernando Senior is ready to ask the court for the maximum sentence.

"My son did not have a chance at all," said Fernando Buenrostro Sr. "This person did not do one single thing right."

The sentencing is now scheduled for September 25th.


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