Driver Accused in Deadly Accident Has History of Drug Arrest

Driver Accused in Deadly Accident Has History of Drug Arrest

A woman accused of killing a man in a deadly accident Thursday morning has a criminal history spanning several decades with multiple drug and theft charges.
A woman accused of killing a man in a deadly accident Thursday morning has a criminal history spanning several decades with multiple drug and theft charges. 

Fresno police say 45-year-old Roberta Soto was speeding, driving a stolen Kia Sorento while high on meth Thursday morning. They say she ran a red light at Herndon and Fresno hitting 26-year-old Matthew Harkenrider killing him. 

Soto has a criminal history dating back to 1988 in Fresno County. It's littered with theft and drug charges. She's currently on probation for an identity theft case in 2012. Here are some of her most recent charges:

  • 2013: possession of an ingestion device
  • 2012: removing a shopping or laundry cart and impersonating another
  • 2011: possession of a controlled substance and possession of a drug paraphernalia
  • 2009: unlawful entry of a non-commercial dwelling
  • 2009: possession/or sale of a deadly weapon - case dismissed in 2012
  • 2006: possession of a controlled substance and under the influence of a controlled substance
Charges from Thursday's crash are the most serious charges Soto has ever faced. She will be charged when she is released from Community Regional Medical Center with 5 charges in Harkenrider's death. Charges include DUI causing death, possession of a controlled substance, and vehicular manslaughter. Police say Soto was clutching a container of meth while being treated at CRMC. 

The accident is bringing the issue of meth in Fresno to the forefront. Chief Jerry Dyer says meth is the instigator of most crimes in Fresno. 

"We have people that become addicted to methamphetamine and it is not something you can try and walk away from generally it takes over your life and that's what we saw yesterday," Chief Dyer says. 

Harkenrider worked at CRMC as a radiology technician. The hospital says he was loved and respected by everyone there. They've set up an account at Educational Employees Credit Union under the name Matthew Harkenrider Memorial Account # 11956007

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