February 29, 2024
Annaleeh Rodarte. Picture credit score: GoFundMe

A person who drove drunk and fatally struck a toddler in Metropolis Heights with an SUV was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years to life in state jail.

Margarito Angeles Vargas, 47, was convicted of homicide and different fees for placing 19-month-old Annaleeh Rodarte with a Toyota 4Runner at about 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2022.

The lady and her siblings had been crossing Redwood Road about halfway down the block when she was struck. Annaleeh was taken to a hospital, the place she was pronounced lifeless simply after 1 a.m. the next morning.

After hitting the lady, Angeles Vargas bought meals from a close-by road vendor and later struck one other car that was stopped at a purple mild, in accordance with trial testimony. He was arrested later that day at his house within the Bay Terraces neighborhood.

On account of a 2016 DUI conviction, prosecutors had been capable of cost him with homicide.

Deputy District Legal professional Hailey Williams alleged that Angeles Vargas had a blood alcohol stage of .206% within the present case, and had a .21% blood alcohol stage within the 2016 case, each of that are greater than two instances the authorized driving restrict in California. He was additionally not licensed to drive on the time of the 2022 fatality.

Williams mentioned Angeles Vargas had a minimum of six beers over the course of an hour he spent at a child bathe he attended simply earlier than getting behind the wheel.

At his sentencing listening to, the prosecutor mentioned Angeles Vargas left “a celebration celebrating the arrival of a brand new child and proceeded to take a child from this world as an alternative.”

At trial, protection legal professional Marie Maloney argued Angeles Vargas was unable to see the lady within the roadway. Maloney mentioned the lady’s brief stature made it tough to see her and the pothole-riddled roadway on Redwood Road made for bumpy journey that hampered visibility for drivers.

The protection legal professional described the collision as “unavoidable” and mentioned the lady entered the road when she was “tragically not seen anymore” from Angeles Vargas’ place.

By means of a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Angeles Vargas apologized to the lady’s household and mentioned, “I do know they’re struggling. I do really feel the identical method as a result of I’m additionally a father. I didn’t do it deliberately however I do really feel regret.”

A number of of Annaleeh’s relations mentioned her loss of life shattered the household and left her sisters guilt-ridden as a result of Annaleeh adopted them into the road.

Simply previous to sentencing Angeles Vargas, San Diego Superior Courtroom Decide Robert O. Amador informed Annaleeh’s sisters, “None of this, in any respect, is your fault. I do know you might be affected by the lack of your sister, however you additionally undergo from this sense that you just did one thing improper. And none of you probably did something improper. … If the defendant wasn’t drunk, if he wasn’t egocentric, if he didn’t care solely about himself, Annaleeh can be right here. It’s not your fault.”

The choose sentenced Angeles Vargas to the utmost potential jail phrases of 15 years to life for second-degree homicide and a consecutive 4 years for hit-and-run. Although the hit-and-run time period might have been utilized concurrently, Amador mentioned that amongst his causes for imposing consecutive phrases was that Angeles Vargas left the scene “as a result of he didn’t wish to face the results.”

–Metropolis Information Service