Prior to being sentenced Thursday in Yuma County Superior Court, the man who drove away from a fatal motorcycle crash earlier this year without waiting for police to arrive, apologized to the victim’s family.
“What I did was wrong,” Antonio Lopez Nunez said. “I wish it didn’t happen.”
Afterward, Superior Court Judge Roger Nelson sentenced Nunez to a partially mitigated prison sentence of 7-1/2 years, with credit for 28 days he has already served in custody.
Nunez was taken into custody last month following a change-of-plea hearing in which he pled guilty to an amended count of failure to remain at the scene of a fatal accident in the Jan. 12, 2020 hit-and-run death of 40-year-old Michael Guinn.
Several of Guinn’s friends and family members were also present for the hearing, including his brother Bruce, who addressed Nunez through the court when he was given an opportunity to speak.
“Part of me died that day. I will never forgive you,” Bruce Guinn said. “I am so filled with hate. I pray they keep you in a deep, dark hole somewhere.”
He also stated that he felt Nunez had not been charged accordingly, saying he had been told that he had reportedly been drinking prior to the incident, adding that he is also believed to be affiliated with gangs and has a prior criminal record.
Other family members also voiced their disappointment, saying they felt Nunez should have received a much longer prison sentence.
According to Yuma police, the hit-and-run crash happened at about 6:53 p.m., with officers responding to the 7000 block of East 32nd Street. The initial investigation revealed that a black motorcycle being ridden by Guinn, who was pronounced dead at the scene, crashed while traveling westbound on 32nd Street.
Upon further investigation, however, the YPD Traffic Unit determined Guinn’s motorcycle had been struck by another vehicle. The offending vehicle fled the scene, but with the parts obtained during the investigation, it has been determined that the vehicle is a 2004-2012 Chevy Malibu.
The following day, at about 4:34 p.m., Nunez turned himself in at the Yuma Police Department and admitted to being the driver who struck the motorcycle that Guinn was riding.
He told police that he didn’t see Guinn’s motorcycle because he did not have his eyewear on at the time. He also said he stopped briefly but left the scene because he thought he had killed someone.