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7.27.2012

fatal hit-and-run driver gets one year in jail

A little while ago, I wrote about the tragic death of Sho Funai, a 23-year-old engineer who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Ocean Beach, San Diego earlier this year. Funai's family was calling for the judge to impose the maximum sentence on the driver who hit and killed him, then drove away.

For pleading guilty to felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor possession of alcohol by a minor, 19-year-old Nikolette Kristine Gallo was sentenced to one year in county jail and five years' probation.

That's it. That's all she gets after admitting she had been drinking and smoking marijuana before the crash. That's all she gets for killing Sho and fleeing the scene:
Nikolette Kristina Gallo cried as San Diego Superior Court Judge Dwayne Moring imposed the sentence, saying, "You are going to jail because you fled the scene. I want the public to know that if you flee the scene of an accident, you will receive custody."

The family of Sho Funai, 23, an engineering graduate student at the University of California San Diego, were disappointed that Gallo did not receive the maximum four-year term.

"We don’t feel the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime," Funai’s older brother, Daisuke Funai, said afterward. "We are heartbroken beyond repair."
At the sentencing hearing, Sho's older brother presented printouts of the online Change.org petition with over 13,000 signatures supporting a maximum sentence. It seems that wasn't enough for Gallo to pay the full price for Sho Funai's death. More here: Hit-and-Run Driver Sentenced.