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Man pleads no contest in fatal hit-and-run of 101-year-old in L.A.

Man pleads no contest in fatal hit-and-run of 101-year-old in L.A.
Salvador Jaramillo, 93, pauses at a memorial for his friend and walking partner, Jose Noriega. The 101-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run while crossing the intersection of Lorena and Opal streets in Boyle Heights. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A man pleaded no contest Tuesday to fatally running over a 101-year-old man in Boyle Heights last year and attempting to flee the scene.

Moments before his trial was to begin at a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, Ricardo Avalos, 41, entered his plea to a felony count of hit-and-run resulting in death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter, according to the L.A. County district attorney's office.

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Avalos was sentenced to three years in state prison.

About 6 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2014, Avalos was driving a van near Opal and South Lorena streets when he plowed over Jose Noriega, who was walking across the street in a crosswalk, prosecutors said.

Avalos fled the scene but was tracked down by two drivers: one who blocked Avalos' path, another who snatched his keys.

Noriega, who walked through Boyle Heights every morning with his best friend, Salvador Jaramillo, lay in the street near the gutter.

"My legs went numb," Jaramillo later said of the gruesome sight. "This was my friend on the floor … my old friend. All I wanted to do was fall down next to him."

Noriega was taken to a hospital, where he died.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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