Posted by on September 26, 2016
Categories: Bay Area

(BANT) – A construction worker with a long criminal history was sentenced
today to 37 years to life in state prison for fatally hitting a 14-year-old
boy crossing the street in San Lorenzo as he fled from Alameda County
sheriff’s deputies.

Sonny Anderson, 36, was convicted last month of second-degree
murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit-and-run
and evading police for killing San Lorenzo High School freshman Ivan Cruz at
East 14th Street and Ashland Avenue in unincorporated Alameda County at about
6:20 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2014.

Anderson, whose criminal history dates back to 1999, was also
convicted of assault on a police animal for punching and kicking an Alameda
County sheriff’s deputy’s dog while he was being arrested.

Prosecutor Jason Sjoberg said a deputy initially tried to stop a
maroon 2001 Saturn later connected to Anderson for driving recklessly with a
broken taillight near the corner of East 14th Street and 164th Avenue, but he
refused to stop and ran through stop signs and red lights while trying to
evade the deputy.

Anderson, who was high on methamphetamine, drove at speeds of 60
mph and higher on city streets, then drifted into the opposite lanes going
the wrong way on East 14th Street, nearly causing two head-on collisions,
Sjoberg said.

The deputy lost sight of the Saturn but then saw it fishtailing on
East 14th Street just past Ashland Avenue. It had just hit Cruz, a San
Leandro resident, as he was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk riding
a Razor scooter, Sjoberg said.

A sheriff’s deputy said Cruz was thrown 80 feet onto the road
while Anderson kept going. Another deputy called for medical assistance and
Cruz was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, but he died about 30
minutes later.

Anderson, who had barricaded himself inside a garage, was arrested
about 24 hours after the crime by deputies who used a police dog.

Anderson’s defense attorney Darryl Billups didn’t contest most of
the multiple charges against Anderson but told jurors in his closing argument
that Anderson should be convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter
instead of second-degree murder.

Anderson has prior convictions for vehicle theft in 2012 and 2005,
burglary in 2006, theft from a dependent adult and receiving stolen property
in 2009, and two counts of animal abuse for breaking into a Hayward petting
zoo in 1999 and stabbing a pony, a goat, a chicken, a goose and two turkeys.