Saturday, 16 October 2021

Fort Bragg woman convicted of fatal hit-and-run

Gina Rae Bean, 43, of Fort Bragg, California, was convicted of a fatal hit-and-run crash in 2019 that killed a skateboarder. Mendocino County Jail photo.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — A Mendocino County judge on Thursday convicted a Fort Bragg woman of a felony in the 2019 death of a skateboarder.

Gina Rae Bean, 43, was found guilty after a trial in front of Presiding Judge Ann Moorman.

Bean was convicted of a felony, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of another person, in this case, 21-year-old Calum Pulido, also known as Calum Hunnicutt.

The state Vehicle Code mandates that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person must immediately stop the vehicle and render aid including summoning emergency help.

State law also requires a driver to report the accident without delay to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Criminal charges accused Bean of failing on the night of July 18, 2019, to stop, render aid or notify law enforcement of a crash on Highway 1 at the intersection with Little Lake Road.

Pulido was skateboarding with a friend at about 10:45 p.m. July 18. He was heading west on Little Lake Road when he was struck and killed by a northbound vehicle driven by Bean.

Court proceedings were delayed for a year because of a variety of reasons including COVID restrictions.

Eventually Bean and her private attorney waived her right to a jury trial and agreed to a trial before Judge Moorman in Mendocino County Superior Court.

The court trial began on Sept. 20 and over a total of five days prosecution and defense witnesses testified in front of Judge Moorman.

Bean testified on her own behalf at the court trial. Judge Moorman heard final arguments on Tuesday and took the case under submission.

Judge Moorman announced the guilty verdict on Thursday. Sentencing of Bean is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office said Bean faces up to four years in state prison.

Bean also could be placed on supervised probation for no more than two years. Under law, however, Bean must serve county jail time. With credits, Bean could serve between 45 and 180 actual days in jail.

The California Highway Patrol and the state Department of Justice crime laboratories in Eureka and Sacramento developed evidence after the vehicle involved in the fatal accident was found hidden, and already under repair.

District Attorney investigators assisted prosecutor Eloise Kelsey in the trial preparation and developing additional evidence.

Judge Moorman found co-defendant, Ricky Faustino Santos, 37, also of Fort Bragg, was not guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Santos faces no further court proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office reported.

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