In court today, Felix Aaron Ruiz Bazan admitted he killed a bicyclist almost a year ago, in a plea deal in which he expects to be sentenced to ten years in prison.
Bazan, now 26, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of 70-year-old Paul Cornish.
Authorities said both men were traveling West on highway 76, and Bazan swerved into the bike lane near the intersection of East Vista Way in Oceanside. The collision happened mid-day, about 11 a.m. on August 31, 2017, and the injured bicyclist was airlifted to Palomar Hospital, where he was declared deceased.
Officials alleged that offender Bazan was driving a Honda sedan that had been stolen the day before, on a suspended license, and under the influence of drugs, at the time of the fatal collision.
Bazan made his plea deal today, August 6, 2018, on the date set for his preliminary hearing, in which details of his alleged crimes would have been made public.
In the deal negotiated by defense attorney Crystal Salumbides, two other felonies that were charged, DUI with injury and stolen vehicle, were dismissed by prosecutor Robert Bruce.
Honorable judge Carlos Armour warned Bazan that “based on his immigration status” he will be deported, and Bazan acknowledged that he understood this. The judge also warned Bazan that if he ever commits a similar act in future, he can be charged with murder.
It appeared that Bazan had three supporters in the gallery; one woman was tearful.
Another woman spectator in the courtroom identified herself as Debora Porter, 69. She said she was the widow of the deceased man and shared a photo of him. The victim, Cornish, was reportedly from Wildomar in neighboring Riverside County.
Deborah Porter said she expects to speak at the sentencing of Bazan. Sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. on October 3, before the same judge who accepted the plea deal, Honorable Carlos Armour, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.