A Boyes Hot Springs man pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter in a Santa Rosa courtroom Tuesday morning for the death of a 93-year-old Sonoma man in November.
Joe Kwai Lee, 80, faces up to six years in prison when he was sentenced in Sonoma County Superior Court on May 23 for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
As part of a plea agreement, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office is dismissing a charge of felony hit-and-run causing great bodily injury or death and a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.
Lee's PT Cruiser struck the victim, Alvin Hesse, in a crosswalk marked with flashing lights at Fifth Street West and Studley Street around 3:50 p.m. on Nov. 7.
Hesse, who was in a three-wheel electric scooter, suffered head injuries and died at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.
Lee's vehicle was found on eastbound Napa Road near Burndale Road, Sonoma Police Chief Brett Sackett said. The car had front-end damage consistent with the accident, Sackett said.
Lee denied being involved in the accident but later recalled running over something near the crosswalk on Fifth Street West, Sackett said.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Jamar said this morning that Lee failed an exam at the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to the collision and had been advised not to drive.
Lee, who has difficulty walking and hearing, could have been sentenced to 11 years in prison if convicted of all three counts against him, Jamar said.
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