We have new evidence in the hit-and-run crash that took the life of beloved local vice principal Gavin Gladding. It shows the driver, 18-year old Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla, may have been drinking before the crash.
Alvarez Maravilla is expected to be sentenced on Monday. Last month, he pled no contest to leaving the scene of an accident, vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license, and destruction of evidence.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office filed a sentencing memorandum last Thursday, that highlights more facts from the case. In the document, the DA said the cell phones of Alvarez Maravilla and his girlfriend Fernanda Lopez were both retrieved. Investigators discovered both had erased their phone data, but some of Lopez’s texts were recovered. The DA said the teens were at a party near Sky Harbor near Millerton Lake the night before the crash. The court document say said at 11:50pm, just hours before the crash, Lopez sent Alvarez Maravilla a text that said, “I’ll wait for you to drink and stuff babe”. Then, she allegedly texted, “We’re playing beer pong against Leslie and Alex okay babe”.
Legal analyst David Mugridge said, “If an individual is driving and there’s an allegation that they were doing so under the influence of alcohol at the time, then the district attorney is not necessarily limited to vehicular manslaughter.”
Another text from Lopez to Alvarez Maravilla seems to indicate her mother was advising her on how to deal with evidence. The text reads “My mom said the first thing they’re gonna do is check the windshield place… The glass with the blood.”
Mugridge says the DA could change the charge to second degree murder, which could raise the sentencing minimum to 15 years. He suspects Alvarez Maravilla will address the court at his sentencing.
“I certainly think that it is very likely, in his best interest, to get up there and at least say I’m sorry,” ended Mugridge.
The court document also said Alvarez Maravilla, Lopez, and a third defendant returned to the scene of the crime less than three hours after the crash.