For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that a Sparks man has been found guilty of felony driving under the influence (DUI) charges that resulted in the deaths of a young local couple. The charges stemmed from an August, 2016 accident that occurred at the intersection of Rock Boulevard and Mill Street in Southeast Reno. Sentencing is set for May 15, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 3 of District Court. The defendant faces up to 40 years in prison for this conviction.
Ricardo, Alonzo Fuentes Jr., 38, from Sparks was found guilty on two counts of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Resulting in Death. The jury returned the guilty verdicts last Thursday evening, after a four-day trial that began the previous Monday.
This conviction represents one of several tragic DUI death cases that this office has concluded in recent months. All involve the senseless deaths of innocent victims. The victims in the Fuentes case, Janeth Gonzalez-Contreras, 30 and Saul Garcia, 30 were a newly engaged couple on their way home from dinner.
Last month, Jesus Rojo-Perez, 23, was sentenced to two consecutive maximum terms of 20 years in prison on two counts of DUI Alcohol and/or Controlled Substances Resulting in Death. The victims in that deadly crash were Omar Castillo-Valdez, 18, and Monica Rice, 28(Previous Release Attached). Also in February, Matthew Svetlik, 22, from Reno, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after previously pleading guilty to one count of DUI Alcohol and/or Controlled Substances Resulting in Death for having caused the death of 21 year old Danica Jensen.
In commenting on these cases, District Attorney Hicks said “Tragedies such as these rightly evoke sorrow, as well as fear that our own loved ones could fall victim as they travel our roadways. A common component in many of these cases is youth, which tells us that we all must work together to ensure we are getting the message out that our community will not tolerate impaired driving.”
On August 17, 2016 at approximately 8:00 p.m., the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a report of a two vehicle accident at the intersection of Mill Street and Rock Boulevard. When RPD officers arrived, they identified Fuentes as the driver of a white Honda and began a DUI investigation after he showed signs of being under the influence. RPD’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) responded and determined that Fuentes was traveling northbound on Rock Blvd. when he ran a red light and crashed into a silver Dodge passenger car traveling east on Mill Street. The impact of the crash caused the Dodge to flip over and land on its roof in a nearby ditch. The passengers of the Dodge were declared dead at the scene. MAIT investigators determined Fuentes was under the influence of alcohol and traveling 88 mph at the time of the collision. Fuentes was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Adam Cate established that the Defendant did not attempt to stop for a red light while travelling in excess of 80 mph on Rock Boulevard when he collided with the victims’ vehicle. DDA Cate also presented evidence of Fuentes’ blood alcohol concentration being 0.132, well over the Nevada legal limit.