A 23-year-old motorist was convicted Monday of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of a pedestrian in Santa Monica in 2017.
Absadi Tewelde Kidane was acquitted of one felony count of resisting an executive officer, but found guilty of a lesser version of that charge, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Kidane has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The sanity phase of the trial is set to begin Wednesday.
Witnesses said Kidane’s vehicle raced into a parking lot next to the Santa Monica courthouse, drove through a parking gate and struck 40-year-old Donald Thomas Jr., of Hawthorne, around 3:30 p.m. March 21, 2017, as Thomas was paying for parking at a kiosk.
Authorities said Kidane fled the scene, struck a parked car and then ran from police, who caught up with him in the 300 block of Pico Boulevard.
Thomas was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Kidane has been held since his arrest on $2 million bail. He is jailed at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, according to jail records.