A 26-year-old South Los Angeles man was sentenced Friday to six years and six months in state prison for a hit-and-run crash that killed a 77-year-old grandmother last year, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Brandon Rosendo Mazariego was driving an SUV along Budlong Avenue on Nov. 13, 2018, when he turned onto West 28th Street and fatally struck Maria Asuncion Reynoso as she crossed the street, prosecutors said.
“He made no effort to stop and continued driving,” the DA’s office said in a news release.
He was arrested within a week of the crash after authorities identified his white Nissan Armada through surveillance footage, according to police. Authorities said he confessed during an interrogation.
“We understand accidents happen … but she was not a piece of trash,” her granddaughter, Julia Stranges, said after Mazariego was arrested. “Maybe she would have had a chance. Maybe she would still be with us.”
Reynoso lived a few blocks away from the scene of the crash in the Adams-Normandie neighborhood, according to prosecutors. Loved ones have said she was walking on her way to church when she was fatally struck.
She was described by Stranges as a “woman of faith” and “staple of the community” who had lived in the area for four decades.
Nearly two years before the deadly crash, in October 2016, Mazariego was convicted of one felony count of first-degree burglary with a person present. Prosecutors said he was on probation for that conviction at the time of the crash.
On June 28, Mazariego pleaded no contest 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.
He entered an open plea, which means the sentencing was not negotiated with the DA’s office.