Crime

Merced County man pleads in hit-and-run death of 3-year-old girl. What happens next?

Isaac Gustave Maldonado, 22, of Livingston, turns to leave the courtroom after appearing before Judge Ronald W. Hansen during a pre-trial conference at the Merced County Superior Courthouse in in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Maldonado has been accused of striking a 3-year-old Merced girl with his car and fleeing the scene on Dec. 4, 2017. On June 11, 2018, he was held to answer for a felony hit-and-run charge.
Isaac Gustave Maldonado, 22, of Livingston, turns to leave the courtroom after appearing before Judge Ronald W. Hansen during a pre-trial conference at the Merced County Superior Courthouse in in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Maldonado has been accused of striking a 3-year-old Merced girl with his car and fleeing the scene on Dec. 4, 2017. On June 11, 2018, he was held to answer for a felony hit-and-run charge. akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

A Livingston man has pleaded no contest to striking and killing a 3-year-old girl with a car and fleeing the scene, according to prosecutors and Merced County Superior Court records.

Isaac Maldonado, 23, made his plea during a pre-trial conference hearing last week.

Maldonado pleaded no contest to a felony hit and run and admitted to a prior strike enhancement. He also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

A Merced County judge previously ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to show Maldonado was grossly negligent when he hit the child.

Now, Maldonado faces between four to eight years in prison, said prosecutor Michael McAfee, a Merced County deputy district attorney.

“I am glad that the defendant held himself accountable and (pleaded) to all the charges,” McAfee said, adding he hopes the victim’s family gets some closure from the plea.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 15.

“During the sentencing hearing, I will be arguing for the maximum sentence of eight years,” McAfee said. “The victim’s family will be making impact statements on that day as well.”

Maldonado’s attorney, Fresno-based Christopher Caine, did not return requests for comment.

Maldonado was charged with striking 3-year-old Dayveonna Polk with his girlfriend’s car on Dec. 4, 2017, as Dayveonna was walking with her family in a crosswalk at the intersection of 18th and R streets.

After the crash, Maldonado drove away, police said.

Several video surveillance cameras from businesses in the area captured the getaway, the reports state.

Dayveonna was taken with major injuries to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, where she later died.

  Comments