Man awaits ar­raign­ment in death of pedes­trian

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE -

LAN­CASTER (CNS) — A Lan­caster man was be­hind bars Wed­nes­day await­ing ar­raign­ment on murder and other charges stem­ming from the hit-and-run death of a pedes­trian in Au­gust 2018.

James Gon­za­lez, 39, is charged with one count each of murder, gross ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter while in­tox­i­cated, ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter with gross neg­li­gence and hit-and-run driv­ing re­sult­ing in death or se­ri­ous in­jury to an­other per­son, ac­cord­ing to the Los An­ge­les County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

The charges in­clude al­le­ga­tions that Gon­za­lez has prior con­vic­tions for bur­glary in 2003 and as­sault with a firearm in 2016.

Gon­za­lez was ar­rested Jan. 15 by Los An­ge­les County sher­iff ’s deputies in con­nec­tion with the Aug. 4, 2018, col­li­sion that killed Rod­ney Richard, 22, as he crossed the street at Lan­caster Boule­vard near Elm Av­enue in Lan­caster.

A white GMC Sierra trav­el­ing at an ex­tremely high rate of speed in a 15 mph zone struck Richard and sped off with­out stop­ping, ac­cord­ing to the Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff ’s De­part­ment.

De­tec­tives from the Lan­caster sher­iff’s sta­tion un­suc­cess­fully searched for months for the ve­hi­cle, with the county Board of Su­per­vi­sors is­su­ing a $10,000 re­ward in 2018 for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the sus­pect and the city match­ing the $10,000 re­ward.

De­tec­tives re­ceived an anony­mous tip 14 months later, which re­sulted in three months of in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led them to iden­tify Gon­za­lez as the sus­pect, ac­cord­ing to the sher­iff ’s de­part­ment.

He is set to ap­pear Feb. 18 in a Lan­caster court­room.

VAL­LEY PRESS FILES

Se­cu­rity video ob­tained by the Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s De­part­ment shows a truck, high­lighted, that is be­lieved to be in­volved in an Aug. 4, 2018, hit-and-run in­ci­dent in Lan­caster in which a pedes­trian was killed. A Lan­caster man has been ar­rested in the case.

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