Sentencing postponed again

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 20, 2013 

Sentencing was postponed for the eighth time Wednesday for a man who pleaded guilty to killing an Army reservist in a March hit-and-run crash.

Jesse Ryan Fuentes, 24, stood up in court in a green-striped jumpsuit as his lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Todd McLean, asked that he not be sentenced this month.

“When this date was contemplated originally, it was known there would be some parties that wanted to speak on Mr. Fuentes’ behalf. It turns out they will not be available due to the upcoming holiday,” McLean said.

Judge Harry Jacobs agreed to reschedule the sentencing to Jan. 10. Deputy District Attorney Travis Colby said he has spoken with the victim’s family about the new sentencing date.

Authorities say Fernando Buenrostro Jr., 18, was killed when he was hit by a pickup while riding a motorized scooter near Cardinal Street and Fairmont Drive on March 16. Fuentes was found and arrested by police four days later when his father was spotted driving a damaged pickup on Mercey Springs Road.

In May, Fuentes pleaded guilty to charges of felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license. Since that time, seven sentencing dates have been scheduled. His former attorney, Dominic Falasco, missed or asked for postponement for six of them and Fuentes requested different representation the seventh time.

Fuentes is facing a maximum of four years in prison.

Buenostro’s family has been at each hearing since the case began and indicated they are willing to wait as long as it takes so they can express their opinions on what they believe would be an appropriate sentence.

The plea was not a result of an agreement with prosecutors, and the judge will determine Fuentes’ sentence. Fernando Buenrostro Sr., the victim’s father, said he is satisfied with Fuentes pleading guilty.

The Los Banos Enterprise is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service