No jail time for man who helped cover up hit-and-run that killed Clovis Unified vice principal

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
No jail time for man who helped cover up Gavin Gladding hit-and-run
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The man who helped replace a windshield won't go to jail. He'll serve 180 days on an ankle monitor.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Punishment came Tuesday for one of the people involved in covering up the crash that killed popular Clovis Unified vice principal, Gavin Gladding.

The man who helped replace a windshield won't go to jail. He'll serve 180 days on an ankle monitor.

Gavin Gladding's life ended on his running path last October when a truck veered into him. Despite massive damage to his truck, the driver took off.

Moises Valdez-Guerrero helped repair the damage.

RELATED: Plea deal reached for man charged as accessory in fatal hit-and-run of Clovis educator Gavin Gladding

"I feel deeply sorry for the actions I have taken," said Valdez. "I wish I would've never gotten involved in this. It was a mistake."

Investigators tracked down the 18-year-old driver, Rogelio Alvarez-Maravilla, his passenger, Fernanda Lopez, and Valdez, who they enlisted to clean up their mess.

Alvarez admitted to the hit and run in court just days later.

Valdez confessed to being an accessory after the fact in January.

The judge said his conduct was inexcusable, but separate from the crash that killed Gladding.

"I have no information that he affirmatively tried to hide evidence from police, that he collected evidence at the scene, that he found evidence on the windshield and destroyed it," said Judge Jonathan Conklin.

Prosecutor Robert Romanacce said Gladding's family is still waiting for someone to acknowledge everyone was aware of what the driver had done.

RELATED: Uncovered documents connect several people to deadly Gavin Gladding hit-and-run

Valdez's comments fell short and so did the driver's.

"He never acknowledged he hit someone even when he spun his car around and the lights went over Mr. Gladding's body on the road," Romanacce said. "Witnesses saw this, but he still claimed that he didn't know what he hit."

Valdez admitted to knowing what happened later in the day, but not when he drove the other two suspects back past the crime scene just a little while after the crash.

Evidence shows all three of them erased their phones shortly afterward.

Fernanda Lopez hasn't admitted anything yet and she's back in court Thursday.

Several of Gladding's former students wrote letters to the judge praising the educator and encouraging stronger punishment for everyone involved in the crime.

And at the end of the hearing, the court reporter walked up to the Gladdings in tears. She told them her granddaughters went to Fort Washington and they loved Mr. Gladding for the fairness he always showed them.