Local News

Driver ID'd in Johnston Hit-and-Run Case

Posted April 16, 2008

— The alleged driver in a Johnston County hit-and-run Sunday night has been positively identified Tuesday by the North Carolina Highway Patrol as Hipolito Hernandez, 30, of Parkertown Road in Four Oaks.

Hernandez originally gave a false name to the arresting officers, but state troopers who had dealt with him before recognized him and were able to identify him, Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin said.

State troopers said Marcus Lassiter, 7, was trying to cross Heath Road when a car driven by Hernandez struck him.

The child’s leg was broken and he had brain damage.

Lassiter's aunt, Mary Ann Cooley, said the family made the decision to remove Marcus from life support, and he died late Monday night.

The suspect has used several aliases with different birth dates and middle names, so the Highway Patrol is hoping federal immigration authorities can help with more definitive information, including whether the man might be in the country illegally.

Hernandez is charged him with felony hit-and-run, felony assault, driving while intoxicated, possession of a stolen vehicle, driving without a license, speeding and reckless driving in the death of the child. He remained in jail Wednesday, held on a $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said they plan to charge Hernandez with second-degree murder Thursday.


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  • CuriousT Apr 16, 2008

    I guess my last post was too much to the point---and deleted.

    Charge him with Capital Murder with a Death Penalty. That should be "enough" of a wake up call to ANY community to get their act together and STOP DRIVING DRUNK.

    I really don't care what culture you come from---if you're drinking and driving---that should make it PREMEDITATED MURDER.

  • shawna Apr 16, 2008

    I was hit by an illegal last year in Wilmington. He gave the responding officer his insurance which we found out later had been canceled a month earlier after he had bought his car. The officer apparently has no way of knowing if the insurance is valid or not. My insurance had to pay for the accident even though it was not my fault and he got off scott free.

  • rargos Apr 16, 2008

    Why won't this country do something about illegal immigration? Simple -- because anyone who wants to throw all the illegals out and/or build a real wall between the US and Mexico is immediately branded a racist -- the single worst thing that can happen to you in this country.

    Political correctness was the beginning of the end of our country.

  • USA Apr 16, 2008

    Our lawmakers and our Judges don't want to pass harsh judgement on something they do themselves. If someone else can give me a better explanation, one that makes perfect sense, then please enlighten me.

  • cool_rocker999 Apr 16, 2008

    He deserves the death penalty for this. You would think that this would send a message to our government but sadly it most likely will not. How much longer do we have to deal with this problem before our government will take action. Praying for the family.

  • NoToIllegals Apr 16, 2008

    An illegal almost killed my son's girlfriend a couple of years ago. He had NO insurance ....shock. She had to cough up over $80,000 in medical expenses including insurance that paid.

    If the government won't take care of its citizens, then we need to stop enabling them. No taxes for them to keep supporting this crime. We need to take action very soon or it will be too late!

  • Vietnam Vet Apr 16, 2008

    I can truly understand some of the poster's frustration. I am a victim of another driver such as this with the sole exception that the car HE was driving wasn't stolen. I have a permanent neck injury that has required surgery because another driver like this guy was on the road drunk. Only positive thing I can say is that at least my guy didn't kill me... We are all victims of this type of behavior by similar drivers. It needs to stop!!

  • NoToIllegals Apr 16, 2008

    Let just keep sugar coating this pathetic victim....the illegal that is.

    Of course he's illegal.

    I am voting for which candidates I believe will truly enforce the laws of this country.
    That includes local officials.

    Time to wake up before our country is 3rd world, and it's close now.

  • FIGSSIT Apr 16, 2008

    tarheelalum - "Most of you commenting are so ignorant it's ridiculous."

    I thought there was better moderation on this forum. Inflammatory comments toward other posters should not be allowed.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Apr 16, 2008

    "He did nothing wrong except attempt to flee the scene based on the above report"

    Right Senor Troll.

    You forgot "gave false information"

    Driving stolen car.

    Let's hope good Sheriff Bizzell is giving him the special treatment he deserves. God bless the Sheriff!