UPDATE (5/11): Armando Lujan was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison, according to court records.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) (4/14) — A man who was accused of murder after police said he intentionally ran over another man with a pickup in 1995 has pleaded no contest to a hit-and-run charge, court records show.
Armando Lujan pleaded no contest Wednesday to hit-and-run causing death or permanent serious injury and a charge of first-degree murder was dismissed, according to court records. Lujan also admitted a prior strike.
He faces six years in prison at his May 11 sentencing, prosecutors said.
Lujan left the country sometime after the Nov. 25, 1995, death of Ramon Gardea, who was struck by a pickup on East Brundage Lane near South Milham Drive. Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies arrested him in March of last year when he attempted to re-enter the country in Nogales, Ariz. He was then extradited to Kern.
Witnesses told police Lujan and Gardea fought at a birthday party the two attended the day of Gardea’s death. Lujan threatened to kill the other man, according to court documents.
After Gardea left the party, a pickup sped in his direction, struck him then left the scene, according to the documents. Witnesses identified Lujan as the pickup’s driver.
Investigators say in the documents Lujan switched vehicles then traveled to Los Angeles before disappearing until last year’s arrest.
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