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Car thief who killed man heading home from work pleads guilty

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A probationer who drove a stolen car while under the influence of alcohol, causing a crash that killed a bicyclist in Chula Vista, pleaded guilty today to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and possession of methamphetamine.

Michael Reyes, 29, faces more than 14 years in prison when he is sentenced July 25, said Deputy District Attorney Carlos Varela.

guiltyShortly before 4:15 p.m. on March 3, Reyes was driving a stolen silver Nissan Maxima westbound on East J Street when he suddenly crossed into oncoming traffic and struck 44-year-old cyclist Daniel Voigt, Chula Vista police Lt. Lon Turner said. Voigt had been on his way home from work.

The Maxima continued onto a sidewalk after striking Voigt, eventually coming to rest after hitting an SDG&E power pole and a tree.

Paramedics took both Voigt and Reyes to UCSD Medical Center, where Voigt died and Reyes was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Maxima was stolen out of National City earlier in the day, Turner said, adding that property found inside the vehicle also appeared to be stolen.

Turner said Reyes admitted drinking prior to the collision at East J Street and Dennis Avenue.

In addition to gross vehicular manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance, Reyes pleaded guilty to felony auto theft and possession of stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.

The defendant was on probation for auto theft and possession of methamphetamine at the time of the crash, Varela said.

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