For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that a Reno man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal hit and run death of Richard Pratt, which occurred on November 30, 2018. Cruz M. Ochoa, 27, from Reno, pled guilty in December to one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving the Death of a Human Being. The case involved a report to the Reno Police Department (RPD) of a hit and run collision between the vehicle and a pedestrian who was walking in a cross walk at the intersection of Wells Avenue and 6th Street. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and witnesses were able to provide information to RPD officers who determined that the victim had been crossing in the crosswalk when hit. Officers were able to identify Ochoa as the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian after obtaining a description of the vehicle thru nearby surveillance footage. Additionally, an employee of a local glass repair shop called RPD the next morning and reported that the suspect vehicle was at his shop and the driver was attempting to get his windshield replaced. Upon arrival, RPD located the suspect and his vehicle and obtained a confession from Ochoa that he had in-fact been driving that vehicle the previous night when he hit the pedestrian. Based on the witness statements and the evidence obtained during the investigation, Ochoa was arrested, and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Day argued for a 10-year prison sentence, stressing the importance of holding the defendant accountable for taking the life of another and then fleeing the scene. Ochoa asked the court for the minimum sentence of 2 years, explaining that he was sorry for his carelessness and that he “was scared” the night of the collision and that’s why he fled. Judge Barry Breslow ultimately sentenced Ochoa to 10 years in prison and cited the need to protect the community.