Man heading to prison in Clovis construction worker death

A man who admitted he drove drunk and killed a construction worker last year, is heading to state prison for an evaluation.
A man who admitted he drove drunk and killed a construction worker last year, is heading to state prison for an evaluation. The results will help a judge determine how much time Justin Desatoff will serve.

Lismar Montenegro, 19, died last October while working on a project in Downtown Clovis.

Justin Desatoff has been in jail since the fatal DUI crash. He is eligible to receive four years at the most for hitting and killing Montenegro while he was drunk.

Desatoff will find out in 45 days how much time, if any, he will spend in prison. He is eligible from anything from probation to four years. In the meantime, he is heading to Wasco, to get a taste of prison while being interviewed.

"He's interviewed by a triad of personalities, a warden, a counselor and a psychologist," said Deputy District Attorney Trevor Oppliger. "And they write a report about his suitability for prison."

The judge will also factor in his probation report analysis and recommendations.

Desatoff pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. According to court records, his blood alcohol content was point one five or higher.

The victim, Lismar Montenegro is from the Southern California town of Fontana.

Oppliger says his family would like to address the court and Desatoff at sentencing.

"They are not in town," said Oppliger. "I've been in contact with a representative throughout this entire process. They are interested in being present at the ultimate sentencing which will happen when he returns from his diagnostic studies."

Clovis police officers say they were trying to pull over Desatoff at Clovis and 8th when he sped up. He struck Montenegro, who was working on construction equipment in the northbound lanes of Clovis Avenue. After the victim was hit, Desatoff also ran into another piece of equipment that was parked.

Desatoff will be transported within the next few days to Wasco. When he comes back, he will be sentenced.



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