Los Banos man sentenced 3 years for fatal crash

FRESNO, Calif.

Jesse Fuentes Jr. said everyday he thinks about the mistake he made in leaving Robert Buenrostro Jr. to die. Now he will be having those thoughts in prison.

Jesse Fuentes Jr. walked into court in shackles, but still had the chance of shedding them Friday. Fuentes did not stay at the scene where he hit Buenrostro and killed the Army Reservist. And he didn't turn himself in right away afterwards.

"I've asked my son why he didn't just stop because we all know that was the right thing to do. Jesse cried and said, 'I was just scared and I panicked," the defendant's mother Regina Fuentes said.

His decision left another family in mourning without answers. And even after police tracked Fuentes down, his victim's 7-year-old brother is left with an empty space in his life -- one he wrote in a letter their father read in court.

"Mommy and Poppy tell me he's in heaven but I want him back. I don't like that he's in heaven," Buenrostro Sr. said.

Fuentes admitted guilt about a month later, bringing court proceedings to a quick end. And he apologized to Buenrostro's family for the pain he caused.

"I'm just tremendously sorry for everything that's happened to the family and if I could do anything to take it back, I would take it back. But there's nothing I can do," defendant Jesse Fuentes said.

Fuentes got a three year prison sentence, which his victim's family said is enough. Fuentes could be out within nine months.

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