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AR Man to Face Deportation After Fatal Hit & Run Sentence

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A local man will face deportation once he serves 17 years in prison for a hit-and-run accident that killed a teenage girl and severed the legs of another person.

On Wednesday, Sergio Rodriguez, 33, pleaded guilty in the case.

On Nov. 6, 2016, Rodriguez was driving near the intersection of Randel and Zion, when he struck Hailey King and Osmin Gutierrez on a scooter.

King was killed, while Gutierrez lost both of his legs.  

Rodriguez drove away from the scene and turned himself into police two days later.

"He hit these two kids, but his actions afterwards not stopping, which at this point we don't know. It could've saved Hailey's life. It could've saved David's legs," said Kathryn Hall, Hailey's mom.

Wednesday was the first time the King's and Gutierrez had to face the man that changed their lives forever.

"I wanted him to know he's not forgiven. He never will be forgiven," added Hall.

King's family wanted a trial, but Rodriguez' attorney Kimberly Weber said he wanted to give the victims some closure.

"The pictures were horrific. The crime, the accident, the tragedy was horrific. And nobody needed to go through that again," she said.

Before Judge Mark Lindsey gave the sentencing recommendation at the Washington County Courthouse, Hall and Gutierrez were able to share their devastation.

"It was about his mistakes that he's made. But he needed to know she wasn't just a name," continued Hall. "Ten years for Hailey's life. She was 18-years-old. She had a lot longer than ten years. Five years for David's legs. He'll never get those back. And two years for leaving the scene. That isn't enough."

"It was about his mistakes that he's made. But he needed to know she wasn't just a name," said Thomas King, Hailey's father.

Weber said Rodriguez is a legal resident, but not a U.S. Citizen.

Hailey's father said the deal doesn't give his family closure, but he also knows nothing will bring his daughter back.

"I'll never forgive him," said King.

Rodriguez has to turn himself into the Washington County Jail by April 24.

And Hall said the plea deal only fuels her desire to change hit and run laws in Arkansas.

Hall said she has a meeting with Sen. Tom Cotton in Washington, D.C. next week about this case.


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