An ex-con who ran over a 64-year-old Hemet man on a mobility scooter, then fled the scene in his pickup truck while driving drunk, pleaded guilty Friday to DUI gross vehicular manslaughter and other offenses.
Eugene McArthur Pamilton, 30, of Hemet killed Ray Billings Jr. in July 2018.
During a trial status hearing at the Banning Justice Center on Friday, the prosecution and defense informed Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez that a plea agreement had been negotiated. Under the bargain, Pamilton admitted the DUI manslaughter count, as well as a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge and a sentence-enhancing allegation of fleeing the scene of a crime.
In exchange for his admissions, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop four related charges against the defendant.
Hernandez scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 13, when Pamilton is expected to receive more than 12 years in state prison.
He’s being held on $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Billings was hit about 10 p.m. on July 23, 2018, in the 1200 block of Florida Avenue, near San Jacinto Street, as he headed to a convenience store on his scooter after leaving his mobile home.
Lt. Glen Brock of the Hemet Police Department said at the time that Pamilton was going eastbound on Florida when he slammed into Billings, causing the victim’s scooter to cartwheel into the curb, ejecting him onto the pavement.
Pamilton raced away immediately afterward, Brock said. Paramedics pronounced Billings dead at the scene.
“The police department began to receive calls from several motorists, who advised they were following the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run and provided our dispatch with a location,” the lieutenant said.
He said officers were directed to the 2200 block of Devonshire Avenue, roughly a mile away from the collision, where they found the defendant’s vehicle abandoned.
Within a few minutes, the convicted felon was located and taken into custody without a struggle, Brock said.
According to court records, Pamilton has prior convictions for burglary and vehicle theft.