Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Mo-Ped Passenger
Posted April 28, 2008
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man who police say tried to avoid a DWI checkpoint and hit and killed a passenger on a mo-ped pleaded guilty Monday to several charges, including second-degree murder.
Richard Smart Jr., 44, also pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries, felony speeding to elude, hit and run with property damage and driving with a revoked license.
Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Investigators said Smart fled the July 29 checkpoint at Legend Road and U.S. Highway 401 in Garner and led authorities on a chase on U.S. Highway 70.
Authorities said his vehicle was going about 100 mph when it hit the bike, which flew 45 feet into the air, killing Christopher Gonzalez-Guittierez, 25, of Raleigh. The mo-ped's driver, Jesus Gonzales Orozoco, was seriously injured.
Police said Smart continued on and hit another car before fleeing on foot. U.S. Marshals arrested him at a Holiday Inn Express in Dunn a few days later.
Smart had been convicted twice for drunken driving, and his license had been revoked about a month before the crash.
Friends said Gonzalez-Guittierez was working in the United States to help his wife and young son in Mexico.