Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

David Stephen Kennedy II, 60, a Huntington Beach man, was sentenced on Friday, Dec. 8, to only one year in county jail after he ran a red light and killed 34-year-old Long Kim Ta of Santa Ana, as he crossed the street in Fountain Valley, in 2021.

Unfortunately the jury deadlocked on a more serious felony count of hit-and-run driving charge at a September trial. The judge dismissed that charge on Friday. Kennedy II was instead convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

Kennedy II’s public defender filed a motion to dismiss the felony charge back in October, arguing that it warranted a retrial. However the case was then transferred to Judge Lance P. Jensen, who granted the motion to dismiss the charge. The Judge determined that the prosecutors from the OCDA’s office would not have any new evidence that would convict Kennedy with the existing evidence.

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.

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

By Editor

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

3 thoughts on “Hit and run driver who killed a Santa Ana pedestrian gets sentenced to only one year in jail”
  1. Damn he must have a really good lawyer… one year in jail for taking another person. . UNBELIEVABLE. . When he left the scene too. I dont believe that he didn’t see him.

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