Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER ON PAROLE SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING A BICYCLIST AND FLEEING THE SCENE
FULLERTON – A parolee has been sentenced to four years in state prison for hitting and killing a bicyclist with his car and fleeing the scene. Javier Rivera, 38, Banning, pleaded guilty Oct. 8, 2010, to one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one felony count of hit-and-run with injury. He has four prison prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine in 1998 and in 2006, fleeing from a police officer in wanton disregard for public safety in 2001, and possession of methamphetamine for sale in 2005.
At approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 24, 2009, Rivera rear-ended Patrick Shannon, 55, who was riding his bike on West Street in Anaheim. The defendant caused Shannon to be ejected from his bike and land nearby. Rivera sped away and fishtailed in his vehicle as he fled from the scene. He then abandoned his car in the 1200 block of W. Katella Ave. The victim’s hair and blood were found on the shattered windshield and roof of the car.
Shannon was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center where he died April 30, 2009, as a result of severe blunt force trauma to the head. Rivera turned himself into his parole agent on April 27, 2009.
During the sentencing today, Shannon’s life partner Karol Nocon gave an impact statement to the court explaining, “Patrick Shannon was my life partner, my love, my companion, my soul mate. For six days I sat by his hospital bed and watched and waited and held his hand. I became overjoyed at any little movement of a finger or toe hoping that at any moment he would wake up and I would see him again. I felt his last heartbeat. I heard his last breath. And I watched as the life went out of his body. It felt like my life was leaving me as well.”
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.