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Goleta man sentenced to 15+ years in prison for deadly hit-and-run in Santa Barbara

Posted at 4:46 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 20:44:37-04

A Goleta man who police say was driving drunk when he hit and killed a 91-year-old in Santa Barbara is being sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

According to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, 27-year-old Nicholas Hart received his sentence of 15 years and eight months from Judge Michael J. Carrozzo in court Monday.

Hart previously pleaded guilty to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter and other related charges on May 13, 2019. He admitted to violating his probation at that time and waived approximately 26 months of custody credits as a part of his plea.

Hart previously signed a plea agreement that stated he had a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka in his vehicle following the time of the crash on State Street. The agreement said the bottle was half full as Hart had drank the other half prior to driving that night. His BAC was said to be three times the legal limit at .24, according to documents. Police also reported Hart had marijuana with him at the time of the crash.

Police said this was Hart’s third DUI in two years. They say his license was suspended due to two previous DUI convictions in Santa Barbara County.

Hart also said he failed to stop at the scene after knowing he had hit someone.

The victim’s family commented on the sentencing, saying, “We appreciate the work of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, their efforts in prosecuting Mr. Hart’s case, and the resulting agreement which will serve as a form of justice for the despicable events that occurred."