Preliminary hearing held for DUI driver accused of hitting, killing Fresno teen

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The man accused of hitting and killing a Central East student last year while driving under the influence will be held to answer for the crime.

During the two-day preliminary hearing, officers testified about circumstances surrounding the deadly encounter.

Albert Fimbrez had three prior DUI charges before being involved in the crash that killed 16-year-old Dayvon Fletcher.

The prosecutor says he disregarded the stern warnings from judges.

Thursday's hearing comes nearly a year after investigators say Fimbrez slammed into two teenagers walking north on Valentine near Shields.

Fletcher took most of the force from the crash and was pronounced dead 24 minutes after impact. His friend was injured but survived.

Officer Jeremy Maffei told the judge that Fletcher had several unsurvivable injuries.

"The cause of death was as a result of head, neck, spine, and abdomen trauma," said Maffei.

Police say the stretch of Valentine that Fletcher and his friend were walking down had no sidewalks and had trash piled along the sides, forcing them closer to traffic.

After surveying the evidence, investigators believe Fimbrez was driving a Ford F150 between 56 to 61 miles an hour in a 40 mile per hour zone when he slammed into the victims.

Detectives say Fimbrez got out of his truck to look at the damage, but officers were told that neighbors heard the crash and went after the defendant.

Toxicology tests showed Fimbrez had alcohol and the prescription antidepressant commonly known as Prozac in his system. An expert said the combined effect of the two likely impaired him the November night Fletcher was killed.

The public defender representing Fimbrez said the crash was a tragedy but pointed out that it happened on a dark street and the victims had been forced to walk close to traffic. She said there was no motive for murder, and her client did not attempt the leave the scene.

But the court determined the entire tragic event could have been prevented.

"He chose to continue to drink. He chose to continue to do drugs. He chose to drive, at one point nearly double the speed limit," said Fresno County Superior Court judge Hon. Jeffrey Hamilton.

Fimbrez was held to answer on all three counts. The judge said the evidence was overwhelming. If convicted, he could spend 30 years to life in prison.
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