Oceanside Man Accused of Fatal Hit-and-Run Is ‘Prone to Fainting': Defense Attorney

Cecilia Shu, 68, was fatally struck by a car while walking on the sidewalk on Benet Road on July 22

Sean Richter is seen being taken into custody in a photo posted on Facebook by Oceanside Police.
Oceanside Polie

The Oceanside driver charged in the hit-and-run death of a grandmother who was on her morning walk may have suffered a medical emergency when he hit her, according to his attorney.

Sean Richter, 34, turned himself in to Oceanside Police July 22, nearly two months after he allegedly hit 68-year-old Cecilia Shu with his car on Benet Road, sending her body flying, before making a U-turn and leaving the scene.

Shu was killed instantly.

Cecilia Shu, 64, was killed just weeks after the birth of her grandchild, reports NBC 7's Rory Devine.

Richter posted $100,000 bail and is now awaiting his Aug. 1 arraignment on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run. NBC 7 attempted to reach him at his family’s home, not far from the accident site, but nobody came to the door.

NBC 7 reached out to Richter's lawyer, Pedro Bernal, regarding the case. Bernal said his client “is looking forward to proving his innocence.” The attorney indicated that his client may have suffered a medical emergency at the time of the accident, adding that Richter is anemic and “prone to fainting.”

Neighbors we contacted had a hard time accepting that.

“If he had a medical emergency, I just don’t understand: Why make the U-turn off the curb and go the opposite way?” said Erinnaye Conley, who lives near the accident scene. “To me, it seems like you’re fleeing from something. Why wouldn’t you just pull over and call for help yourself? I mean, it seems like you’re kinda running from something to me.”

Court documents show Richter has been convicted of a handful of minor crimes, and also did prison time for a robbery conviction. A neighbor, who told NBC 7 she has known Richter for 20 years, said, “He’s a good guy who’s made some bad choices.”

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