Two families had tearful words in court Monday as a judge sentenced the driver of a deadly DUI hit-and-run in Rancho Peñasquitos to nine years in prison.
Santee resident Evelin J. Nuñez, now 21, initially faced six criminal charges in connection with a deadly hit-and-run crash on Aug. 25, 2019, along Black Mountain Road. The hit-and-run killed Nang Arm, 37, who had been walking or jogging in the area when Nuñez hit her.
"Thank you for allowing me to speak. I'm the last person you want to hear from, but it is very important to me for you to know how sorry I truly am," Nuñez told the victim's family in court.
"My decisions that day caused someone innocent to lose their life," Nuñez said. "I can't say I understand your pain, but I do feel tremendous pain."
In January, five months after the deadly crash, she pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office confirmed. As part of the plea agreement, the hit-and-run charge and another charge were dropped, the DA's office said.
A judge sentenced Nuñez to nine years in prison on Monday.
"I just want them to be OK as time moves by. I want them to be happy and if me staying in jail makes them at least a bit happier, then so be it," Nuñez said Monday.
The Hit-and-Run That Killed Nang Arm
On Aug. 25, 2019, at around 7 a.m., Nang Arm was out on her morning walk or jog along Black Mountain Road.
Nuñez was driving a Nissan Sentra in the area. Suddenly, she hit Arm.
Police said Nuñez also plowed through a fence and damaged a water line. She swerved back onto the street and left the scene.
Several witnesses of the hit-and-run tried to help Arm. She was rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla but, right away, her prognosis was grave.
Family and friends of Arm said her husband was abroad when she was hit because his father had recently died. He hastily booked a flight home, but Arm died in the hospital before he arrived.
"I hope that my last day, I will realize this whole incident was just one bad dream," the victim's husband said.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said Nuñez's blood-alcohol level at the scene of the crash was over the legal limit. She was 20 years old at the time of the hit-and-run.
Following her August arraignment, Nuñez's father told Telemundo 20 that his daughter was a hard-working college student who had two jobs. He said the hit-and-run was an accident.
In court, friends and family of Nuñez expressed their sadness for both the victim and Nuñez.
"We are parents and our children will always be our children no matter what happens," Nuñez's father said in court.