Crime

Fresno teen sentenced to three years in prison in hit-and-run killing of Clovis educator

Fresno man sentenced to three years in prison in hit-and-run killing of Clovis educator

Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla was sentenced to three years in prison Monday morning for the hit-and-run killing of a Clovis Unified vice principal Gavin Gladding.
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Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla was sentenced to three years in prison Monday morning for the hit-and-run killing of a Clovis Unified vice principal Gavin Gladding.

A Fresno teen was sentenced to three years in prison Monday morning for the hit-and-run killing of a Clovis Unified vice principal.

In a packed courtroom, Judge James Kelley gave Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla, 18, three years for a felony charge of fleeing an accident involving the death of Gavin Gladding, 43.

Members of the Gladding family, who declined to speak to the media after the sentencing, had urged the judge during Monday’s hearing to send Alvarez Maravilla to prison.

“As a mother you want many things for your children – I never though that I would be seeking justice for a life that was ended way to soon,” said Rita Gladding, Gavin’s mother.

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Gavin Gladding is shown with his wife and children in an undated photo. Gladding, 43, a vice principal at Fort Washington Elementary School, was training for a marathon when he was struck by a pickup on the shoulder of Friant Road north of Fresno shortly before 6 a.m. Sept. 16. A teen later pleaded no contest to hit-and-run in the death. Fresno Bee file

Alvarez Maravilla spoke briefly during his sentencing, saying that he was sorry and that Gladding, who was the vice principal at Fort Washington Elementary School, reminded him of teachers who inspired him as a student.

“I am truly sorry for what happened,” Alvarez Maravilla said.

Last month, Alvarez Maravilla pleaded no contest to the felony charge of fleeing an accident involving death and three misdemeanors: vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and destroying evidence.

A police investigation shows that Alvarez Maravilla struck Gladding in the early morning of Sept. 16 while Alvarez Maravilla and girlfriend Fernanda Jackline Lopez were heading south on Friant Road.

Susan Gladding, wife of Gavin Gladding, speaks to the court during the sentencing hearing of Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla on Monday morning. Alvarez Maravilla was sentenced to three years in prison for the hit-and-run killing.

Gladding, an avid runner, was training for a marathon when he was hit. Gladding collapsed on the side of the road as Alvarez Maravilla drove away. Witnesses called 911 and stayed with Gladding until rescue crews arrived. Suffering from massive head trauma, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Alvarez Maravilla was arrested five days later when he turned himself in.

Friends of Alvarez Maravilla asked the judge for leniency, noting he has no prior arrest record and has aspirations of being a registered nurse.

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Gavin Gladding’s parents, Gary and Rita Gladding, make a statement to the court during the sentencing hearing of Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla on Monday. Alvarez Maravilla was sentenced to three years in prison for the hit-and-run killing. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

Father Jerry Amerando, assistant pastor at St. Jude Catholic Church, offered his condolences to the Gladding family while also describing Alvarez Maravilla as a caring individual who comes from a loving family.

He said he spoke with Alvarez Maravilla several times and found him remorseful. But he, too, was baffled as to why he didn’t stop to help Gladding.

“I don’t know what possessed him to leave the scene,” Amerando said. “He may not have known how serious it was, at least that is what he told me.”

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