SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Santa Cruz County prosecutors announced Tuesday a 20-year prison sentence for a man convicted for fatally striking a woman in an alleyway after he had been drinking at a downtown Santa Cruz bar last year.

On June 5, 2019, Alejandro Rocha Fernandez, who had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, recklessly sped into an alleyway, hitting and killing 55-year-old Diana Crotty, according to the district attorney’s office.

Following the crash, Fernandez fled the scene on foot but Santa Cruz police quickly located and arrested him. He was eventually convicted for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

At the sentencing hearing, Fernandez did not make a statement, while Crotty’s sister remembered her as a “loving, generous” artist with a great sense of humor, prosecutors said.

Fernandez was on probation for two separate DUI offenses occurring in 2016 and 2018. He will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole.

 

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