A 22-year-old Irvine man was looking at up to 7 1/2 years in prison for driving off in his SUV after his girlfriend jumped out to her death last Halloween with their 13-month-old baby in their arms. (Their daughter miraculously survived with minor injuries.)
But after agreeing to a plea agreement that had him admitting his guilt to felony hit-and-run involving a death and child abuse and endangerment, Francisco Javier Montano was sentenced Monday to two years behind bars.
With time served, he could be kicked loose in a couple weeks, the prosecutor says.
Gloria Sanchez was holding the toddler and despondent when the 21-year-old jumped out of the Toyota RAV4 Montano was driving on West Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana on Oct. 31, 2013, according to his attorney, Roland Rubalcava.
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The Santa Ana Police Department had also initially investigated whether Sanchez fell or was pushed out of the moving vehicle. The announced charges by the Orange County District Attorney's office indicated Sanchez jumped, but it was still a crime for Montano to have driven off.
"The guy got scared because he didn't have a license," so he fled the scene, Rubalcava explains in a City News Service report that indicates the deal with Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald also had Montano pleading guilty to misdemeanor driving without a license.
He received credit for 706 days behind bars, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.