Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

David Stephen Kennedy II, a 60-year-old Huntington Beach man, was convicted of misdemeanor manslaughter Wednesday for a collision that killed Long Ta, a 34-year-old Santa Ana man, in Fountain Valley two years ago. The jury deadlocked on a felony charge of hit and run with permanent injury.

Kennedy II was behind the wheel when he collided into Ta, who was on his way home from an early morning job, on Sept. 11, 2021. Kennedy II ran through a red light at the intersection of Edinger Avenue and Ward Street just before 6:20 a.m. when he hit Ta, who was in the crosswalk.

Ta was taken by paramedics to a local hospital but his injuries ended his life on September 13, 2021.

Kennedy II reportedly paused at the scene before he sped away, according to a witness, as related by the prosecutors.

On September 15, the Fountain Valley police located a suspect vehicle in the parking lot of Fountain Bowl at 17110 Brookhurst St. Kennedy II claimed that he thought he had hit a rubber bumper cushion. Prosecutors however revealed that DNA evidence from the victim was found on debris recovered from the vehicle at the collision site.

Doctors reportedly told the Ta family that his injuries were not that bad and he may have survived if he had received prompt medical care. As such if Kennedy II had called 911 instead of speeding off Ta may have lived.

Kennedy II is set to be sentenced on Oct. 6 on the misdemeanor, which at most will result in a one-year maximum incarceration. O.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Knox ordered Kennedy, who was free on bail, to be taken into custody.

O.C. Deputy District Attorney Chris Cook told Knox that the prosecutors will file for a retrial of Kennedy on the felony charge. A pretrial hearing on that charge is set for Nov. 9.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

6 thoughts on “DUI driver convicted after a fatal crash that killed a Santa Ana man”
  1. I’m glad the DA is going to move forward with a retrial on the felony. After reading about this case, makes me wonder why the jury wouldn’t convict on the felony. Clearly a hit an run after running a red light, an claimed he thought he ran over a rubber bumper… in a cross walk? SMH!

  2. Makes me sad to be here in Orange County, if this is what you call justice. This man broke so many laws, and he is getting away with a slap on the wrist. Shame on you, jury. Here’s hoping the prosecutor can dig in and make something of the felony trial.

  3. Rob someone, horrible definitely, get 6 years in prison…good. Kill someone via hit and run cuz you are DRUNK! You get 1 year with only a misdemeanor on your record! What is going on here?? Glad DA is looking to retry this as a felony. Didn’t know that was a possibility once tried but nevertheless glad to hear.

  4. This is absurd and everyone in that jury voting in favor of only a misdemeanor should be ashamed of themselves. The man clearly knew he hit someone, ran away from the scene, and then LIED about it when he was caught. How is this anything other than a blatant hit and run resulting in death?? Only one year for taking away someone’s entire life. There needs to be more press coverage of this story so the pressure will be put on for this murderer to get the actual punishment he deserves. If the Orange County justice system allows this murderer to walk away with a slap on the wrist, then Orange County is no better than any other city overflowing with rampant criminals that get to walk after getting caught.

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