A drunken motorist who struck and killed a bicyclist and then fled the scene was taken into custody Tuesday to begin serving a year in jail with the understanding he will serve six years in prison if he violates his probation terms.
Randall Lew Sullivan, a burly man who wore a white polo shirt and jeans, stood next to defense attorney David A. Torres as he received the six-year suspended sentence. Judge Michael G. Bush told Sullivan there will be no choice but to send him to prison for the entire term if he misses even one of his stipulated meetings or is caught at a bar in violation of the terms of his probation.
Bush ordered Sullivan, 56, not to drink alcohol. The judge warned him he would face murder charges if he kills another person as a result of driving under the influence.
Sullivan pleaded no contest March 15 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of 46-year-old Victor Quiroz.
At Tuesday’s sentencing, Quiroz’s sister Vivian Gallegos told Sullivan she forgives him. She read several Bible verses as she described how she prays for him.
She said, “I trust God that it was my brother’s time to be called home.”
Prosecutor Garrett T. Rice said afterward that six years in prison would have been “the most just” sentence, but there were several issues with the case. There were no eyewitnesses to the crash, and the exact area of impact was unclear, Rice said.
Police said Sullivan struck Quiroz about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 20, 2014, in the 1700 block of New Stine Road. Officers found Quiroz lying to the left side of the roadway and suffering from major injuries.
He died at a local hospital a short time later.
Police found broken pieces of plastic from a vehicle headlight and a dark red part that apparently broke off the vehicle that hit Quiroz. Investigators performed an Internet search on the numbers listed on the back of the part and then consulted with a Toyota dealership.
They determined the recovered part was a right front bumper extension for a 2002- to-2006-model Toyota Tundra, police reports say.
Ten days after the crash, police received an anonymous tip that Sullivan may have been involved and was hiding a burgundy Tundra inside a garage in the 2500 block of Westholme Boulevard. That location is less than one and a half miles from the scene of the crash.
Investigators then searched a database of insurance claims and found that Sullivan had filed a claim for his Tundra with GEICO in February 2010, the reports say. GEICO representatives told police Neira's Collision Center in Bakersfield had installed a bumper extension on the Tundra.
The center confirmed the extension that was installed was similar to the part found at the crash scene.
Police served a search warrant to examine the truck and submitted their findings to the District Attorney's office, which filed charges against Sullivan April 1, 2015.