Madera hit-and-run driver who severely injured 16-year-old girl gets probation

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The man accused of a hit-and-run crash that severely injured a Madera girl took a plea deal on Friday.

The agreement means Paul Cano will serve time on probation, not in prison.

Jenny Aguilar was hit by a car that left the scene in the area of Monterey Street and Olive Avenue in Madera on June 14th.

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Jenny's mother says before the crash, her daughter was full of joy, loved sports, and had dreams of become a police officer. But now the 16-year-old is coping with life-changing injuries.

"He left her brain damaged, damaged her right eye, her pelvis, and her hand," says Ines Salvador.

Police arrested Paul Cano on hit and run charges ten days after the crash with the help of a tip from someone who recognized photos shared on social media of his damaged car.

The black Hyundai had a sign on the side for Cano's in-home fitness business. The 27-year-old was later released on bond, and on Friday he appeared in front of a judge to plead guilty to felony hit-and-run causing an injury.

"He feels terrible about this. He's very upset about the fact that he hit somebody, that he caused an injury. This is a very good young man. He has no prior criminal history. He has a wife, a young child, he feels horrible about the whole situation," says Mark Coleman, his defense attorney.

Cano is expected to be sentenced to three years of probation when he returns to court in March. He'll also be required to perform community service and pay restitution fines.

But Jenny's mother says that's not enough to make up for the suffering he has caused.

"Me and my family, my daughter, we're all traumatized," she says.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Dupras says he understands the family's desire to see Cano serve prison time.

However, based on the fact that he has no criminal history and was not suspected of driving under the influence or any additional charges, a plea agreement was the best option.

"One of the things we try to do is minimize the impact on the victims and the victims' family, and in this specific case going through a trial and getting to this same spot, quite frankly he would probably still get probation if we went to trial. We want to not put the family through that," says Madera County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Dupras.
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