Liv­ingston man is sen­tenced in hit-and-run death of girl

Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - Livingston Chronicle - BY VIKAAS SHANKER [email protected]­ced­sun­star.com

A Liv­ingston man con­victed of killing a 3-year-old Merced girl in a hit-an­drun col­li­sion was sen­tenced this week to six years in state prison, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Isaac Mal­don­ado, 23, in Oc­to­ber pleaded no con­test to felony charges of a fa­tal hit-and-run with a prior se­ri­ous con­vic­tion, and ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter with­out gross neg­li­gence, for a Dec. 4, 2017, col­li­sion that killed 3-year-old Dayveonna Polk as the girl was walk­ing in a cross­walk ahead of her fam­ily in the in­ter­sec­tion of 18th and R streets in Merced.

Prior to Mon­day’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Mal­don­ado was fac­ing four to eight years in prison.

Merced County Deputy District At­tor­ney Michael McAfee, who was lead pros­e­cu­tor in the case, and Dayveonna’s fam­ily were hop­ing for the max­i­mum eight-year sen­tence. “I un­der­stand that no amount of jail time will give the fam­ily a sense of jus­tice,” McAfee said. “But I hope the con­vic­tion and sen­tence will give the fam­ily of Dayveonna some clo­sure and can help the heal­ing process.”

Mal­don­ado’s at­tor­ney, Fresno-based Christopher Caine, thought the midrange six-year sen­tence was “fair,” con­sid­er­ing Merced County Judge Ronald Hansen didn’t be­lieve Mal­don­ado would re­of­fend, Caine said.

“I’d like to em­pha­size the fact that (Mal­don­ado) is ex­tremely re­morse­ful,” Caine said. “My client and I would like to see clo­sure for the vic­tim’s mother.”

Mal­don­ado drove away af­ter strik­ing Dayveonna with his girl­friend’s car, said po­lice, who pieced to­gether sur­veil­lance footage from sev­eral busi­nesses in the area to iden­tify Mal­don­ado as the driver, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­ports.

Caine said Mal­don­ado pan­icked af­ter the col­li­sion and was dis­traught be­cause at the time he was on his way to a Modesto hos­pi­tal wor­ried about his own un­born child and girl­friend, who was ad­mit­ted and had ex­pe­ri­enced prior mis­car­riages.

Dayveonna was taken to Val­ley Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Madera af­ter the col­li­sion with ma­jor in­juries, where she later died.

The tod­dler was re­mem­bered as a “friendly” and “lov­able” girl who loved to play with dolls and “would go up to ev­ery­one,” her cousin told the Sun-Star dur­ing a vigil days af­ter the col­li­sion.

Caine said Mal­don­ado hasn’t con­tacted Dayveonna’s fam­ily to say sorry

or ex­press his re­morse be­cause “he doesn’t want to be ac­cused of in­flu­enc­ing the fam­ily in any way.”

With Mal­don­ado’s plea to two felony charges, he faced a max­i­mum of eight years in­stead of four be­cause he had a prior felony strike. Ac­cord­ing to court records, he pleaded no con­test in 2013 to a bur­glary.

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