Motorist guilty of hit-and-run

VISTA — A judge found a motorist guilty July 12 of a hit-and-run that killed an Encino bicyclist in the 1200 block of North Coast Highway 101 as the cyclist rode in the center of a single line with his fiancée and a friend at about 1 a.m. April 10.
Joseph Ricardo Fernandez, 46, of Carlsbad, waived his right to a jury trial set for July 11, and the following day was found guilty of a felony charge of hit-and-run for causing the death of James Swarzman, 47, according to Deputy District Attorney Karl Husoe.
San Diego Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman conducted the bench trial at the Vista courthouse, and set the sentencing for Sept. 12.
Fernandez faces up to four years in prison if he is given the maximum sentence, Husoe said.
Swarzman, an experienced cyclist, was struck and killed by a vehicle while participating in an organized route that began earlier in the day in Temecula. Swarzman died at Scripps Memorial Hospital hours after the impact. The driver did not stop at the scene, but turned himself into authorities the day after the crash.


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