WCDA Sentencing Update
Defendant Convicted on Attempted Hit and Run Charge Sentenced to 10 Years

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that a Washoe County woman has been sentenced to 10 year in prison after having pled guilty to a charge stemming from a hit and run case. Karen Lalani Hoyoatubbi, age 53, pled guilty to one count of Attempting to Leave the Scene of an Accident Involving the Death of a Human Being or Personal Injury. Hoyoatubbi was sentenced yesterday to the maximum term of 10 years in prison, with parole eligibility after a minimum of 3 years has been served.  

The case against Hoyoatubbi began on January 2, 2020 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a report of an accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian. Upon arrival, RPD officers located a male victim who was transported to Renown for medical care. Witnesses reported to police that the vehicle that hit the victim had fled to a nearby parking lot, then left the area. Surveillance footage from the lot was collected and officers were able to locate the involved vehicle the following day, which was being driven by a male. The subsequent investigation determined Hoyoatubbi had borrowed the vehicle from an acquaintance and had been driving it when she hit a pedestrian. Hoyoatubbi admitted she had hit the man, fled to a nearby parking lot and called 911. She then left when she saw police arrive. The victim who Hoyoatubbi hit sustained multiple fractures to his skull, ribs and pelvis. He ultimately died of his injuries. Hoyoatubbi was arrested and this office filed criminal charges against her.

 At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Michael Vieta-Kabell argued for a maximum sentence of 10 years. In making his request he noted the devastation suffered by the family of the victim and the importance of deterring people from leaving the scene of similar accidents in the future.        

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