On Thursday, April 9th, a man from Hawthorne, California, bagged a 4-year sentence for killing a pedestrian in July 2019. Richard Marlin Merritt, 43, did not use a car injury attorney because he pleaded no contest to the charges against him.
The no-contest plea was taken last month, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Merritt was tried on a single count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence.
The offense is for killing Roxanne Stempien, 40, of Hawthorne, on July 14th, while she walked through a crosswalk at about 1:45 a.m. Merritt also hit a male pedestrian that day, but he survived with injuries.
The preliminary accident report showed that the man fled the scene, and the police located him at his residence. The vehicle involved in the crash was found parked close to his house with front-end damage.
Hawthorne Police Lieutenant, Joel Romero, said that officers determined that Merritt was driving under the influence. They took him into custody, and he has been behind bars since then. The man was previously charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
The other charges against Merritt were hit-and-run driving resulting in death or severe injury to another person, and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing damage. Driving with a .08 blood alcohol content causing injury also made the list.
The DA dismissed the charges after the man chose not to enter a defense and gave a no-contest plea. Those with liabilities like Merritt should contact a car injury attorney if they wish to plead their case.
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