CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A drunken driver who killed a homeless woman in a Christmas Day hit-and-run crash in Chula Vista was sentenced Thursday to six years and four months in state prison.
Angel Rodrigo Gutierrez, 23, pleaded guilty last month to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Gutierrez had been drinking beer and celebrating Christmas with his family when he got in his car to get a burrito.
The defendant's blood-alcohol measured .29 percent -- more than three times the legal limit -- when he was arrested nearly seven hours after the 8:30 p.m. collision in the 1200 block of Third Avenue, the prosecutor said.
After hitting 54-year-old Robin Fortson, Gutierrez made a U-turn and drove by the dying woman's body before fleeing the scene, Bright said.
Fortson's friend of 30 years, Cynthia Vergara, said the victim was cared for and loved.
"I don't understand you leaving her like that," Vergara told the defendant.
A witness provided officers with a partial license plate of the white Pontiac sedan that hit Fortson as she was crossing the street. Police found the car abandoned in the 200 block of Moss Street about an hour later.
Investigators went to the registered owner's address, questioned Gutierrez's relatives, then picked him up about 2:40 a.m. outside his home in the 300 block of Date Street.
Gutierrez initially told officers he was not driving and had loaned his car to a "homeboy," according to police.
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