Truck driver charged in S.F. cyclist's death

Truck driver charged in S.F. cyclist's death
Associated Press | 5:01 p.m. PST Tuesday, 06-Feb-2001 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A man who hit and killed a bicyclist in
San Francisco was charged in the death Tuesday, and, if
convicted, could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Newark resident Rueben Espinoza, 42, was arrested Monday and
arraigned Tuesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter,
assault with intent to commit grave bodily injury and assault
with a deadly weapon in the death of Chris Robertson, 30.  Bail
was set at $2 million because Espinoza is considered a flight
risk, said Fred Gardner, a spokesman for the San Francisco
District Attorney's office.

On Nov. 17, Robertson was on a memorial bike ride with a group
of other cyclists for one of their friends who recently had
died.  Police said Robertson got into a fight with Espinoza, who
was driving a truck and trying to get around the bikers.
Robertson was hit by the truck and died.

A conviction would be Espinoza's third strike under the state's
Three Strikes law.  He has a previous violent felony conviction
for voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to commit voluntary
manslaughter in San Bernardino County in 1979.  And in 1993, he
was convicted of residential burglary and assault with a deadly
weapon in San Francisco.

Gardner said many cyclists who witnessed the incident are
convinced Espinoza was motivated by road rage.

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