A 33-year-old Delhi man will serve about one year in jail in connection with a crash that killed a 17-year-old girl.
Michael Lindo admitted Friday to violation of probation on two previous DUI convictions for a crash that killed 17-year-old Delhi resident Jennifer Arroyo on Jan. 23 in Delhi, according to the Merced County District Attorney's Office.
Lindo was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe east on August Avenue at about 30 mph after 9 p.m. on Jan 23 when the Tahoe hit Arroyo while she was walking on the street.
He reportedly sped away, but returned later and called 9-1-1 to report the collision, according to investigation reports obtained by the Merced Sun-Star.
After testing a 0.05 blood alcohol content about 75 minutes after the crash, according to reports, Lindo was arrested by California Highway Patrol Merced for DUI causing great bodily injury, hit-and-run resulting in death and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
CHP also recommended a first degree murder charge because he had two prior DUI convictions.
However, the Merced County District Attorney's Office decided not to charge Lindo with any of the felonies because prosecutors felt the evidence wasn't substantial enough to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt, Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt told the Sun-Star a week after the crash.
Because Lindo returned and called 9-1-1 himself to report the collision, it didn't meet the standard for a hit-and-run charge, Nutt said. And because Lindo's blood alcohol content was under the legal limit of 0.08, he wouldn't be charged with a DUI.
Instead, Lindo pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of failing to use an ignition interlock device. He was then released from custody on Jan. 29.
Lindo was remanded back into custody on Feb. 20, according to Merced County jail records. And he was charged with violating probation on his two previous DUI conviction, Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Carroll said.
Lindo received six months in jail for each violation of probation, Carroll said, which was the maximum sentence.
"We pursued this defendant to the fullest extent of the law under the circumstances," Carroll said, adding that the District Attorney's Office would continue to monitor Lindo's behavior.
Family and friends of Arroyo, and witnesses at the time of the collision were confused, frustrated and upset at Lindo's release and the District Attorney's Office's decision not to charge him with the hit-and-run, DUI and murder charges.
Friends and family of Arroyo remain unsatisfied at what they feel is a light sentence.