May 16, 2013 5:51 PM by Caroline Lowe. KSBY

Driver sentenced in fatal hit-and-run in Santa Maria

Tears flowed in a Santa Maria court room Thursday where Alvino Corona was sentenced for hitting and killing a city man, Frank Diaz, Jr., and his dog while they were on a walk in February.

Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian said even Judge Rick Brown was in tears during the emotional hearing. The hearing included an impact statement from Diaz's daughter, Yolanda Diaz Gonzalez. She also played a three-minute video clip in her father's memory.

Karapetian said the prosecution had asked Judge Brown to give Corona a minimum of seven years in prison as a sentence,but the judge said he was conflicted between probation or prison.

In the end, Judge Brown decided to give Corona five years of formal probation, a year in the county jail and ordered him to pay more than thirty-one thousand dollars in restitution to the victim's family. He must also speak to people in the community about the dangers of reckless driving and talk about his own experiences in this case.

If Corona is convicted of a crime in the future, he will face up to eleven years in a California prison.



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