Crime

Update: Visalia bicyclist killed in alleged murder case identified

A 40-year-old man suspected of striking and killing a bicyclist while driving in Visalia earlier this week was charged with murder Friday.

Visalia police Sgt. Gary Williams identified the victim Saturday as 61-year-old Pamela Sue Fowler.

Manuel Mesa is also suspected of being under the influence at the time of the collision Wednesday on Court Street near the Modoc Bike Trail and of fleeing from the scene.

He was charged with one count of murder, one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

The counts are enhanced with special allegations, because he left the scene and because he possesses a prior strike conviction (assault with a deadly weapon) and almost a dozen other felony convictions, including animal cruelty, possession of a firearm and reckless evading of a peace officer, among others.

He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

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