According to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, a San Fernando courthouse jury has found Marco Antonio Valencia guilt on all counts in the drunken, hit-and-run death of Joseph Novotny.
Valencia now faces 15 to life for a conviction on 2nd degree murder, as well as 24 to life due to special circumstance enhancements on the charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Wheels notes that Valenica’s two priors for driving while intoxicated may lead the judge to impose a stiffer sentence, on the higher end of the sentencing scale.
Sentencing scheduled for Thursday May 26th, at 8:45 am in Department C of the San Fernando courthouse; the D.A. will reportedly contact the other victims as well as Novotny’s family so they can be present for the sentencing.
Evidently, there was no question about guilt, as the jury deliberated for just 1 hour and 20 minutes before reaching a verdict. Novotny’s mother has been following the case and may have been in the courthouse for the reading of the verdict, before being taken to see the route Novotny rode and the scene of the collision by members of the Santa Clarita Velo Club.
Valencia was convicted on five of the original nine charges, after four lesser charges involving two of the other injured cyclists were dropped for unknown reasons.