Crime

He tried helping a friend who killed a Clovis Unified educator. He’s not going to jail

A friend of the man who killed Clovis Unified administrator Gavin Gladding in a hit-and-run crash won’t serve any jail time for his role helping to cover up the crime.

Moises Antonio Valdez Guerrero of Fresno appeared in court on Tuesday and was given three years of probation for assisting Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla after Gladding was killed Sept. 16.

Valdez Guerrero has until 7 p.m. Thursday to enroll into an electronic monitoring program, where he will likely wear a traceable ankle bracelet at home.

If he fails to enroll, he has to turn himself into the Fresno County Jail, Fresno County Superior Court documents show.

CHP arrests.jpg
Moises Antonio Valdez Guerrero and Fernanda Jakeline Lopez were arrested by the California Highway Patrol in the hit-and-run death of Clovis Unified educator Gavin Gladding. Guerrero is a friend of alleged hit-and-run driver Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla. And Lopez is Maravilla’s girlfriend and was a passenger in the truck when it hit Gladding. Courtesy Fresno County Sheriff's Department

Alvarez Maravilla was sentenced to three years in prison in November for Gladding’s death. His girlfriend, Fernanda Jakeline Lopez, also of Fresno, appeared in court on Thursday, but her pre-preliminary hearing was continued to 8:30 a.m. March 18.

Valdez Guerrero and Lopez were arrested in October on suspicion of helping Alvarez Maravilla, after Alvarez Maravilla’s truck struck Gladding on Friant Road on Sept. 16. Gladding, 43, was out running as he was training for a marathon.

According to court documents, after the crash Valdez Guerrero took Lopez’s truck to a glass repair shop the morning of Sept. 16, and Lopez paid for the work. Cellphones collected from the trio by law enforcement also showed they had returned to the scene of the crime that morning.

Valdez Guerrero in January pleaded no contest to a felony accessory charge in Gladding’s death. As part of the plea agreement he entered in January, the charge that accused Valdez Guerrero of destroying or concealing evidence was dismissed.

Mark Coleman, attorney representing Valdez Guerrero, said his client will be on electronic monitoring for 180 days, and the rest will be regular probation. Coleman said he believes Valdez Guerreo has already signed up for electronic monitoring.

“I think it’s a very reasonable result,” he said. “He regrets ever having become involved in this situation ... This was a good responsible young man that got dragged into the case by a lifelong family friend, and he admits that he made the wrong decision by not coming forward.”

Fresno County Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright said he wasn’t able to comment as the third defendant’s case is still pending.

Valdez Guerrero was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail, but that was suspended Tuesday. Instead, he will serve the three years of probation, of which 180 days will involve electronic monitoring.

He will also have to comply with several requirements, such as not leaving California, submitting to DNA testing, not carrying a dangerous weapon and not contacting the victim’s family, court records show.

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Yesenia Amaro covers immigration and diverse communities for The Fresno Bee. She previously worked for the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia and the Las Vegas Review-Journal in Nevada. She recently received the 2018 Journalistic Integrity award from the CACJ. In 2015, she won the Outstanding Journalist of the Year Award from the Nevada Press Association, and also received the Community Service Award.
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