Guilty plea in crash that killed soldier

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 16, 2013 

A 23-year-old Los Banos man pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing an Army reservist in a hit-and-run crash in March.

Jesse Ryan Fuentes was asked by Judge Harry Jacobs if he wanted to change his plea from not guilty to guilty. Fuentes' response: "Yes, sir."

Fuentes pled guilty to felony hit and run causing death and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license. He will be sentenced June 14 and could receive a maximum of four years in prison.

Fernando Buenrostro Jr., 18, was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck while riding a motorized scooter near Cardinal Street and Fairmont Drive on March 16. Fuentes, who was driving the truck, did not stop and was arrested four days later when his father was spotted driving the damaged vehicle on Mercey Springs Road.

Fernando Buenrostro Sr., the victim's father, said he is satisfied with Fuentes' plea.

"It's the first right thing he's done," Buenrostro said.

He said he hopes Fuentes receives the maximum sentence.

"He dragged my son for a block. My son didn't have a second chance in this case. (Hopefully) maximum will give some comfort," Buenrostro said.

The Merced County Probation Department will review Fuentes' case and make a sentencing recommendation to the judge.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at

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