Crime

Teen could be tried as an adult in suspected hit-and-run that killed Cal Poly student

Kennedy Love, 22, who was killed in a suspected drunken-driving hit-and-run in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday night, smiles during a visit to see the superbloom on the Carrizo Plain this past spring.
Kennedy Love, 22, who was killed in a suspected drunken-driving hit-and-run in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday night, smiles during a visit to see the superbloom on the Carrizo Plain this past spring.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will seek to try the 17-year-old girl suspected in a fatal hit-and-run crash Tuesday night as an adult.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham said he made the decision after a Thursday afternoon meeting with the prosecutor who handles juvenile matters. The ultimate decision will lie with a juvenile court judge. Prior to the passage of Proposition 57 last November, that decision lay with prosecutors.

If tried in adult court, the girl could face felony charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

“It’s always in a state of flux, things could change,” Cunningham said. “But based on what we know right now, we would pursue that motion.”

The 17-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, is scheduled to make her first court appearance Friday, but Cunningham said the judge’s decision on whether to try her as an adult would be made at another hearing.

Cunningham said his office intends to pursue adult charges based on “the totality of the facts of the case, the juvenile’s history and the fact that the case involves a death.”

The girl is suspected of driving under the influence when her vehicle struck 22-year-old Kennedy Love, a Cal Poly landscape architecture student riding his bicycle in the area of Foothill Boulevard. Love died from injuries sustained in the crash, while the girl allegedly drove away from the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing two women get out of a vehicle with damage to the driver’s side window in the Foothill Boulevard Panda Express parking lot and examine the damage before getting back in and driving off. Police found the vehicle abandoned on Tassajara Drive near Luneta Drive and traced the registered owner back to Los Osos.

Police said they found the girl at the Los Osos address, where she allegedly confessed to drinking and driving and striking Love.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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