Man Pleads No Contest to Killing Grandmother on Her Way to Church in South L.A. Hit-and-Run

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A man pleaded no contest Friday to killing a grandmother on her way to church in a South Los Angeles hit-and-run collision, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Brandon Mazariego is shown in a photo displayed at an LAPD news conference on Nov. 20, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)
Brandon Mazariego is shown in a photo displayed at an LAPD news conference on Nov. 20, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Brandon Rosendo Mazariego, 26, pleaded to one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person, one misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license and one infraction for driving without evidence of financial responsibility, authorities said.

He faces a possible maximum sentence of eight years and six months in state prison, the DA said.

The victim, Maria Reynoso, 77, was crossing Budlong Avenue at 28th Street at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 13 when a car struck her while she was in a crosswalk. The driver fled the scene, and she was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Mazariego, who was on his way back from dropping his kids off at school when he struck Reynoso, and he didn’t make an effort to stop after the crash, prosecutors said.

Maria Reynoso's photo is held up by her family at a news conference in South L.A. on Nov. 19. (Credit: KTLA)
Maria Reynoso’s photo is held up by her family at a news conference in South L.A. on Nov. 19. (Credit: KTLA)

Police arrested him two days after the incident.

The victim’s granddaughter, Julia Stranges, described Reynoso as a “staple of the community” and a “woman of faith.”

Mazariego on Friday also admitted to violating his probation in a 2016 felony conviction of first-degree burglary, the DA said.

His sentencing is scheduled for August 16 at a Los Angeles court.

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