Man faces 30 years for fleeing scene after fatally hitting bicyclist, other charges


(Adobe Stock images)

VISTA, Calif. (CNS) – A man who fatally struck a bicyclist in Escondido, then fled the scene, faces at least 30 years in state prison when he is sentenced next month.

Jamison Connor, 42, was convicted by a Vista jury on Thursday of seven felony and misdemeanor counts that include child endangerment and various counts related to drug possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Connor was set to go to trial this week on gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run counts related to the Nov. 23, 2019, death of 36-year-old Vista resident Kevin Lentz, but pleaded guilty to both of those counts the day his trial began, according to Deputy District Attorney Drew Garrison.

Lentz was riding on La Honda Drive when he was struck head-on by a dark-colored Toyota sedan just before noon. The car involved in the crash was found ditched by its driver a short distance away, police said.

Lentz died at the scene. He is survived by his wife and young son.

Connor was arrested five days later during a traffic stop, at which time officers found methamphetamine in the vehicle and a gun in the glove compartment, which he is not allowed to have due to a felony conviction for assault.

Connor was also driving under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine on Nov. 28, prosecutors alleged, and with his son in the vehicle, prompting the child endangerment charge.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

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