December 6, 2023
Annaleeh Rodarte. Picture credit score: GoFundMe

A person who drove drunk and fatally struck a toddler in Metropolis Heights with an SUV was convicted Wednesday of homicide.

Margarito Angeles Vargas, 47, was discovered responsible by a San Diego jury of putting 19-month-old Annaleeh Rodarte with a Toyota 4Runner at about 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2022.

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

Whereas jurors additionally convicted Angeles Vargas of different counts corresponding to gross vehicular manslaughter whereas intoxicated and hit-and-run, the trial revolved round whether or not he needs to be discovered responsible of homicide, as protection legal professional Marie Maloney conceded her consumer was responsible of the opposite prices.

Maloney argued at trial that Angeles Vargas was unable to see the lady within the roadway, citing elements such because the lady’s brief stature and her consumer’s vantage level whereas behind the wheel. She additionally mentioned the pothole-riddled roadway on Redwood Avenue 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.

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

On account of a 2016 DUI conviction, prosecutors have 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.

The prosecutor mentioned Angeles Vargas ran a cease signal simply earlier than turning onto Redwood Avenue and practically struck a parked truck as he made the flip.

When Annaleeh crossed the highway, she was 120 toes from the intersection, giving Angeles Vargas ample time to see her, Williams mentioned.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.