Victim of October hit-and-run dies, 88-year-old suspect’s case remains unresolved
Hector Contreras to be given mental evaluation for possible dementia
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - After months of battling through several surgeries, the victim of a hit and run in Yuma has succumbed to their injuries, while the suspect's case has been delayed.
Last October, 88-year-old, Hector Contreras, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after hitting a 41-year-old pedestrian on South 4th Avenue and 16th Street, causing severe injuries.
On Tuesday, Contreras appeared again in Yuma County Superior Court - this time for a change of plea hearing.
Instead of potentially accepting the state's plea offer, it was made known to the court that the victim in the incident passed away just three days ago on June 11th due to the injuries suffered from the incident.
The victim's mother stepped forward and gave an emotional plea, saying that her son was just about to have his 42nd birthday before dying in their house three days ago.
She went on to say that this process has been unfair and the family wants justice for Contreras' actions, saying he "took away something precious" from them.
After the victim's mother spoke to the court, they had to then address the mental state of Contreras.
In his last appearance in May, it was noted that Contreras was diagnosed with increasing dementia - which in turn the defense argues could have been a factor in the accident.
The court then ordered that Contreras be treated with a mental evaluation from a recommended doctor from the state, under Rule 11.
In Arizona, a Rule 11 hearing is a court proceeding where the judge determines whether the criminal defendant is mentally competent enough to stand trial.
Due to Rule 11 and the latest developments of the victim's death, the case has been delayed.
The court will hold a status hearing on August 2nd.