WALLA WALLA -- A man who drove into a pedestrian near Second Avenue and Tietan street in March is facing a standard-range sentence of up to a year in the County Jail after pleading guilty Monday afternoon to third-degree assault.
David Marquez, 19, of 1115 W. Pine St., entered the guilty plea to the felony charge in Superior Court. He also pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence, a gross misdemeanor.
Marquez initially was charged with two felonies, vehicular assault and hit-and-run -- injury, but the prosecution agreed to reduce the case in exchange for his guilty pleas.
The prosecution is recommending a jail term of four months, the low end of the standard range, when Marquez is sentenced later and won't object to conversion of the time to service on the Department of Corrections work crew or community service.
Meanwhile he remains free on bail.
Officials said Marquez was driving a Toyota Celica when he struck Johana Castillo in the 1400 block of South Second at about 2:20 a.m. March 21. Castillo reportedly suffered serious injuries when she was thrown over the vehicle and landed on her head.
Marquez drove away, but was stopped by a patrol officer at Division and Washington streets and later was arrested.
Police said apparently an altercation had occurred earlier in the area near Second and Tietan. Marquez told officials "he had received a call from a friend of his saying there was going to be a fight and wanted his help," according to a police report filed in court.
Marquez added there were about 10-14 people in the area when he and two friends arrived in the vehicle. He claimed a "male subject came up to his vehicle and hit his window hard enough with his fist that the window almost broke," the police report says.
Then, according to Marquez, a woman took a stance in front of his vehicle as if she wanted to fight. He told officers he didn't have time to stop, ran into the woman at a speed of about 25 mph and left because he was afraid.
Castillo, of North Wilbur Avenue, was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. Police said Marquez smelled of alcohol, so blood was drawn from him at the hospital for testing.