A convicted felon accused of running over and killing a woman while driving under the influence in Perris, then fleeing the scene, must stand trial on several charges, including hit-and-run resulting in death, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Ismael Rivas, 51, was arrested within minutes of the Jan. 29, 2018, collision that fatally injured 47-year-old Maricela Martinez of Moreno Valley as she walked in the area of Patriot Park.
Following a preliminary hearing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on the hit-and-run count, as well as DUI resulting in great bodily injury and DUI with a blood-alcohol level in excess of .10.
The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for May 9 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The defendant is free on a $100,000 bond.
According to sheriff’s officials, Martinez was crossing Murrieta Road about 8 p.m. when Rivas allegedly plowed into her with his Chevrolet pickup, then kept going.
The victim was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where she died a few hours later.
A witness driving through the area tailed the defendant’s pickup and called 911, providing deputies with the license plate and location of the vehicle, investigators said. Patrolmen spotted the truck less than 10 minutes later in the area of Ellis and Menifee roads, south of Perris, and arrested Rivas without a struggle.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions in Riverside County for driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. He has additional convictions in a neighboring jurisdiction that were not listed.