Chesterton Tribune


Portage man sentenced to three years in fatal hit and run

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A Portage man has been sentenced to three years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, in connection with a crash which took the life of a Valparaiso resident on C.R. 700N.

On Wednesday, Reinaldo Antonio Figueroa III, 20, with a listed address of 251 Hamstrom Road, was sentenced to six years in the DOC, three of them suspended and to be served on formal probation.

Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper also ordered Figueroa’s driver’s license suspended for four years, in effect on his release from DOC.

In November, Figueroa pleaded guilty to the charge, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years. Under the plead-and-argue agreement, a second charge filed against Figueroa would be dismissed: reckless homicide, also a Class C felony.

In her sentencing order, Harper made note of the following aggravating factors:

•That Figueroa was on probation in two separate cause numbers when he committed this crime.

•That he has a history of criminal activity: on four occasions he has had charges filed against him, resulting in three convictions. “The conviction entered in this matter today arises from the fourth arrest,” Harper stated in her order.

Harper made note of two mitigating factors:

•That Figueroa has admitted his guilt.

•That he’s of a “youthful age.”

According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 8:20 p.m. April 2, 2012, a female driver reported that she had run over a male subject lying in the roadway on C.R. 700N. Franklin Ivey, 22, of Valparaiso, was pronounced dead at the scene and investigators subsequently determined that Ivey had been eastbound on C.R. 700N on his moped when he was rear-ended by a blue Subaru passenger vehicle, police said. That driver of the Subaru then fled the scene, leaving Ivey in the roadway, where he was later hit again by the other motorist.

Investigators found the damaged blue Subaru a day later, on April 3, in South Haven, traced it to Figueroa, and took him into custody.






Posted 2/25/2013