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Man Sentenced for Killing Gardener While Fleeing Police in Malibu

A Venice man who struck and killed a gardener along Pacific Coast Highway while fleeing from police in a stolen car received a 14-year, four-month prison sentence on Thursday, officials said.

A pursuit ended in a fatal collision in Malibu on Nov. 29, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A pursuit ended in a fatal collision in Malibu on Nov. 29, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Kevin James Hicks, 23, pleaded no contest to fleeing police in a vehicle causing death, auto theft with a prior conviction, assault with a deadly weapon and intoxicated driving resulting in injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.

Hicks, who also admitted a special allegation of causing great bodily injury, was immediately sentenced, prosecutors said.

The case stems from a deadly police chase on Nov. 29, 2017.

Hicks was driving a stolen Mazda 6 near Zuma Beach when police tried to pull him over, but he led them on a chase, according to prosecutors and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators. Police called off the pursuit because they deemed it too dangerous.

Hicks was driving¬†through Malibu “at a high rate of speed” a short time later when he struck and killed 28-year-old Juan Castillo, who was on the right shoulder of the 27500 block of Pacific Coast Highway while taking out the trash at a nearby home, authorities said. He was working as a gardener at the time.

The stolen Mazda then crashed into three parked cars and caught fire, authorities said. First-responders had to rescue Hicks from the burning wreck.

Correction: A previous version of this story had a photo with an incorrect date for the pursuit. The post has since been updated.