A Fresno homeless man who killed a bicyclist with one punch was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison.
Joel Gonzalez, 31, who was initially booked on a murder charge, pleaded no contest last month in Fresno County Superior Court to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the March death of 35-year-old David Vang.
On Thursday, Judge Jonathan Conklin could have given Gonzalez six years in prison, but chose the maximum of 11 years because of the defendant’s long history of thefts.
Investigative reports say David Vang died of blunt force trauma to his head, but also suffered from cirrhosis and had been in a fight about a month earlier with someone else.
A Fresno police report says Gonzalez was walking near Shields and Blackstone avenues when Vang rode by on his bicycle. The two men argued before Gonzalez punched Vang once in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground, defense attorney Linden Lindahl said.
The blow from hitting the ground caused a brain hemorrhage, Lindahl said. Vang died a week later at Community Regional Medical Center.
Police arrested Gonzalez in April near Shields and Maroa avenues after he tried to elude officers on his skateboard.
Lindahl said Thursday that Gonzalez didn’t start the fight and didn’t intend to kill Vang. He also said Vang was intoxicated when he got into the altercation with Gonzalez.
Investigative reports say Vang died of blunt force trauma to his head, but also suffered from cirrhosis and had been in a fight about a month earlier with someone else.