A probationer who ran over and killed a 10-year-old Lake Elsinore boy, then fled the scene, was sentenced Thursday to nine years in state prison.
David Loperena, 26, of Lake Elsinore pleaded guilty in November to gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run resulting in death and sentence-enhancing allegations of fleeing the scene of a crime and causing an accident that resulted in a fatality.
Loperena’s admissions were made under a plea agreement submitted directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Monterosso, without input from the District Attorney’s Office.
During a hearing at the Murrieta courthouse, Monterosso certified the terms of the agreement and imposed the sentence that he deemed appropriate, based in part on findings by the Department of Probation.
Anthony Ochoa was killed at the intersection of Langstaff Street and Sumner Avenue last March 13. The tot and his sister were crossing the intersection, en route to a relative’s house, when Loperena came barreling down Langstaff in his pickup truck and struck the boy about 7:20 p.m., according to sheriff’s investigators.
Witnesses said the victim rolled onto the hood of the pickup, landing on the windshield. Loperena slowed long enough for the child to slide off of the vehicle, then sped away, according to witnesses and investigators.
Anthony’s sibling was not injured.
Sheriff’s Sgt. James Woodland said patrol deputies arrived within a couple of minutes and discovered Anthony clinging to life. The Elsinore Elementary School student was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died a short time later.
With the help of good Samaritans, detectives were able to identify Loperena’s Chevrolet truck as the one involved in the hit-and-run. The probationer was arrested without a struggle at his Limited Avenue residence on the evening of March 14.
According to court records, he has prior misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence and theft.
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