Teen sentenced to 2 years in jail in Issaquah deadly hit & run
SEATTLE - A King County teen was sentenced to up to two years behind bars on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a deadly hit and run in Issaquah last year.
Kevin Lozoya, 21, was home from college on break visiting friends over Memorial Day weekend in 2017.
He was struck by a car while walking to his own car after attending a party. The driver never stopped and Lozoya died.
The teen driver was found and arrested two months later.
Family and friends believe two years isn't enough to bring justice for Kevin's death. They hoped their pleas in court on Tuesday would convince the judge to give the juvenile defendant more time behind bars.
"My heart is completely destroyed," Kevin's mother, Grisel Lozoya, told the court. "He killed my son."
The memory of that night is still vivid to his friends who watched Lozoya take his last breath.
"Kevin dying in my arms that night, that's baggage I'm going to have to carry for the rest of my life," fiend Kevin Graham, told the court.
"Watching him take his last breath and the car just driving down the road, not even bothering to stop. It's just going to haunt me for the rest of my life," Tyler Krebb, another friend, testified.
"He wan an excellent person. He (the driver) just came and ran down and left him there, with no help," Grisel Lozoya told the court as she fought back tears.
The teen driver apologized in court.
"I just want to express my remorse to Kevin's family and I wish I could take away any of the pain," he said.
The defense attorney and his family told the judge the teen is haunted too, by what he did. He had wanted to turn himself in, but got bad advice and bad parenting.
"If anyone should be sitting in that chair, it should be me and his dad," the teen's mother said to the court.
The judge agreed with council on both sides and stuck with the recommended sentence range of 90 to 105 weeks, or two years, citing accountability and rehabilitation.
"This, for me, is so bad. I don't feel like we have justice for Kevin. 90 weeks is nothing. For a human life? No," said Grisel Lozoya after the sentencing.
Because the teen has no prior offenses, he could have gotten a lesser sentence of 30 to 72 weeks. So, the 90 to 105 weeks is considered higher than the standard range.
Grisel Lozoya said she plans to go to Olympia to ask lawmakers to increase juvenile penalties for serious crimes.