Man charged with murder in 2018 Lancaster hit-and-run that killed 22-year-old pedestrian

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Rodney Richard is seen in a photo provided by his family.

Rodney Richard is seen in a photo provided by his family.

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A man has been charged with murder in connection with a 2018 hit-and-run crash that killed a 22-year-old pedestrian in Lancaster, officials announced Tuesday.

James Gonzalez, aka “Hustler,” 39, faces one count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury for the Aug. 4, 2018 crash, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Gonzalez was allegedly driving his pick up at a high rate of speed in a 15 mph zone near Lancaster Boulevard and Elm Avenue when he ran over Rodney Richard Jr., officials said.

Surveillance video from the scene showed the victim tried to run away just before being hit by the large white truck.

Richard was taken to a hospital but later died from his injuries. Gonzalez allegedly left the scene.

He was arrested in January after a three-month investigation stemming from an anonymous tip, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and his bail was set at more than $3 million.

He could face a maximum sentence of 43 years to life in state prison.

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