For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
June 5, 2018
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that a Sparks man has been sentenced in a felony driving under the influence (DUI) case that involved 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. A trial was held in March of this year that resulted in guilty verdicts. Today, the defendant was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with parole eligibility after a minimum of 14 years has been served.
Ricardo, Alonzo Fuentes Jr., 38, from Sparks was sentenced to consecutive 20 year terms in prison on each of two counts of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Resulting in Death. A Washoe County jury convicted Fuentes in March, after a four-day trial. 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.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Adam Cate argued that the egregious nature of Fuentes’ conduct, driving through a red light at 88 mph, warranted the maximum sentence. Representatives from the victims’ families noted that the fatal accident caused them to change from beginning to prepare for a wedding to instead having to prepare for funerals.
In commenting on the sentence, DA Hicks stated, “My office remains committed to holding DUI offenders accountable for carelessly causing such unthinkable tragedies and we will continue to work with the community to increase awareness of the tremendous risks associated with 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.