Driver en­ters plea in man’s death

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Matt Hamil­ton matt.hamil­ton@latimes.com Twit­ter: @Mat­tHjourno

A man pleaded no con­test Tues­day to fa­tally run­ning over a 101-year-old man in Boyle Heights last year and at­tempt­ing to flee the scene.

Mo­ments be­fore his trial was to be­gin at a down­town Los An­ge­les court­room, Ri­cardo Ava­los, 41, en­tered his plea to a felony count of hi­tand-run re­sult­ing in death and a mis­de­meanor count of ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter, the L.A. County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice said.

Ava­los was sen­tenced to three years in state prison.

About 6 a.m. Oct. 1, 2014, Ava­los was driv­ing a van near Opal and South Lorena streets when he plowed over Jose Nor­iega, who was walk­ing across the street in a cross­walk, pros­e­cu­tors said.

Author­i­ties said that Ava­los f led the scene but was tracked down by two driv­ers: one who blocked Ava­los’ path, another who snatched his keys.

Nor­iega, who walked through Boyle Heights ev­ery morn­ing with his best friend, Salvador Jaramillo, lay in the street near the gut­ter.

“My legs went numb,” Jaramillo later said of the grue­some sight. “This was my friend on the floor … my old friend. All I wanted to do was fall down next to him.”

Nor­iega was taken to a hos­pi­tal, where he died.

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