A 10-year state prison term was handed down May 4 to a hit and run motorist who killed Jose Luis Padron on Jan. 19 in Paradise Hills, near National City.
The widow of Padron, 49, and his two sisters spoke about the impact of his death to San Diego Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon.
Padron was getting an umbrella out of a car parked in front of his home on Albemarle Street when the car driven by James Arthur Robbins, 47, veered sharply to the other side, resulting in Padron’s death. It was raining at the time.
Unlike other motorists who have received lesser sentences for fatal hit and runs, Robbins has prior convictions for two robberies for which he served a prison sentence.
Shamoon said Robbins dropped off his girlfriend’s damaged silver Lexus, and cleaned it out with bleach before he fled. Robbins didn’t show up at his job and he avoided meeting with his parole agent. He was paroled about nine months before the incident.
“You didn’t stay to help. You left,” said Shamoon, who denied probation. “Your first instinct was to leave.”
She ordered Robbins to pay $7,480 in restitution to the crime victim’s compensation board for the funeral expenses.
She fined him $2,924 and gave him credit for 157 days in jail.
“I understand accidents can happen. I can accept that. But why didn’t you help him?” asked Sacramento Padron, the victim’s widow.
“What happened? I need to know. I want to forgive,” said Sacramento Padron. “May God forgive you and help me forgive you.”
“You had no feeling when you left him there,” said Judith Tang, the victim’s sister. “My brother is in a better place.”
Another sister, Maria Padron, told Robbins he was “a heartless, cold blooded killer.” Imelda Padron, a sister-in-law, told Robbins “you were worried about your own skin.”
Robbins maintained silence and did not respond to any of the family members’ comments. He was arrested about a month after the fatality.
He pleaded guilty April 6 to hit and run in a traffic fatality. His attorney said the first day he met Robbins, he asked about pleading guilty because he wanted to take responsibility for his actions.