An Ohio tourist who hit and killed a Las Vegas man was sentenced Tuesday to 2 to 10 years in prison, but the victim’s family and some police say they are disappointed with the ruling.
Todd Seifert, 30, hit and killed Jesus Andrade in a Las Vegas Boulevard crosswalk on January 31 and fled the scene. Seifert, who was in a rental car, returned the car and said he hit a garbage can. He paid for the damage and flew home to Ohio.
Seifert eventually pleaded guilty.
“I’m here for the same reason you are all here for: for justice. I’m here for that same reason,” Seifert told the court Tuesday.
He claims he wasn’t asking for leniency, but his attorney Ross Goodman did.
“He panicked. He left the scene of an accident,” Goodman said.
Andrade, a construction worker, was on his way to work when he was hit and left on the road. He died later that day at the hospital.
Andrade’s family says his life is worth more than the sentence Seifert received.
“His children will grow up without a father. His mother lost a son. His sisters are completely devastated. Our family is completely devastated,” Andrade’s cousin Nelida Bernal said.
“The reality is that I am disappointed as a citizen of Clark County that this judge imposed such a lenient sentence on somebody who willfully caused a collision, killed somebody,” said Metro Police Sgt. Richard Strader. “The defendant’s attorney was calling it an accident. I call it a collision.”
Strader and his detectives worked the case.
“The judge had the chance. He has the ability to sentence and to say, ‘Listen, we’re not going to put up with this in our community,'” he said. “I don’t think that was the information that was dealt out today.”
He says he and his detectives will attend Seifert’s parole hearings to help ensure he remains behind bars.
Strader says the rental car contained pieces of Andrade’s lunchbox, jacket and flesh after the collision, so there was little doubt Seifert struck someone.
Seifert does not have a criminal history. Goodman says his client’s career as a chemist is ruined, because he is now a convicted felon.