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John Francis Sudac Jr. was sentenced to four years and eight months today for vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing death, in connection with a night-time freeway crash three years ago, January 2009. Sudac had been free on bail since the fatal collision, and then was taken into custody after a three-week trial in May 2011.

Yine Gonzalez was 24 years old and pregnant and was the front seat passenger in a Ford Explorer that was struck from behind by Sudac’s Nissan. The woman and her baby did not survive the violent tumble down the freeway. The case was a sensation in San Diego because the offending driver fled and Marine passersby joined together to push the over-turned vehicle off the crushed woman.

The District Attorney’s office did not bring any charges for the unlawful killing of a fetus in this case.

In the Vista Superior Courthouse today, widowed husband Vinicio Jiminez read aloud letters from his daughter – the child had addressed these to her deceased mother. “This is what she wrote in her therapy,” the father explained. The child was 5 years old and seated in the back of the Explorer that her father was driving when the collision occurred.

Private defense attorney Herb Weston requested that his client “do his time at fire camp,” and Judge Runston Maino said he would recommend it because he found the defendant “not a danger to anyone” and that he would not “run away.”

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Comments

Visduh April 6, 2012 @ 9:12 p.m.

Eva, could you elaborate about why it has taken this long for this dirtbag to get sentenced? The crime was committed more than three years ago, he wasn't tried until two years after the fact, and it has taken since last May's conviction to get around to sentencing him! As an ordinary citizen who frequents the highways/byways/freeways of the county, I'm totally confused as to why this has taken so long. Is it malfeasance by the DA? (That's a simple explanation.) Justice delayed is justice denied, and this has taken, by my calculation, about three times longer than it should have taken, even in light of the sluggish pace of the criminal justice system in California. Comment please!

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Eva Knott April 7, 2012 @ 8:34 a.m.

Visduh, Instead of speculating, I will contact the defense attorney and see if he wants to make a comment on why the sentencing was delayed so long. Eva

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2012 @ 9:49 a.m.

Private defense attorney Herb Weston requested that his client “do his time at fire camp,” and Judge Runston Maino said he would recommend it because he found the defendant “not a danger to anyone” and that he would not “run away.”

Fire camp is just that-camp. And to top it off I am sure he will get the PC 4019 good time custody credits which will shave 50% off that 4 years. But steal a slice of pizza and get a 3rd strike for it and it is 25-life. This is what happens when the prison guard union runs the show.

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2012 @ 9:51 a.m.

He also has probably been in custody for a long time, it is my bet he will have very little time left to actually do.

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Visduh April 9, 2012 @ 10:05 a.m.

Surf, note that the story says he was free on bail, and was taken into custody only after the trial and guilty verdict in May of last year. But if you are right, he'll owe only s bit more than a year if his sentence is halved.

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SurfPuppy619 April 10, 2012 @ 9:47 p.m.

He received 56 months, that is 28 if he gets half time credits, and I think he will if he is eligible for fire camp. 2 years and change. He has spent 11 months in County, and that means he only has 19 months left. I'm sorry, when a mother and her unborn child are killed like this that seems light anyway you slice it.

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Eva Knott April 11, 2012 @ 12:42 p.m.

From John Francis Sudac Jr.’s court file: May 5 2011, a jury declared Sudac guilty. Over the following eight months, defense asked to delay sentencing four times. One time the prosecutor asked to delay sentencing so they could respond to defense’s motion for a new trial. In January of this year, defense made a deal to plead guilty to two counts, gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run causing death, for a stipulated sentence of 4 years and 8 months. Judge Maino agreed to “set aside” the jury verdict and accept this plea deal and “new trial motion is vacated.” Sentencing was delayed again by defense in March 2012. On April 6, 2012 the defendant was sentenced according to his plea deal. Posted by Eva Knott.

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