A man in Four Oaks, North Carolina was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison on May 21 for a DUI crash last year in which he ran over and killed a 7-year-old boy.
On May 21, 31-year-old Hipolito Hernandez was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder and DUI in connection to a wreck on April 13, 2008 that resulted in the death of 7-year-old Marcus Lassiter. Hernandez received a sentence of 196 to 254 months in prison.
On the day of the incident, Lassiter had been playing in his grandmother’s yard and was attempting to cross the road when Hernandez’s vehicle struck him. He later died at the hospital.
Hernandez, an illegal immigrant, has four prior DUI charges on his record. Two of the charges were dismissed, one was reduced, and the fourth was pending.
The defense attorney in both of the dismissed cases was Lee Hatch and the prosecutor in one was Cyndi Jaeger, both of whom are among the six people charged in a ticket-fixing case in Johnston County, North Carolina.
Indictments say that 70 dismissal forms with Jaeger’s signature were filed after she left her job in September 2007. Said dismissal forms were filed for clients of Hatch and three other defense attorneys. Also indicted in the case is a former deputy clerk who has been accused of deleting the names of the attorneys from at least two cases from the courthouse computer system.
The majority of the dismissals cited in the indictments were DUI cases.
However, the two dismissed cases against Hernandez were not part of the indictment. According to Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle, the dismissals were due to officers failing to show up in court to testify.