Woman Accused of Causing Deadly Crash Has Criminal History
By Erik Rosales
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — When you take a closer look at 45-year-old Roberta Sotto's criminal history, some may wonder why she was on the road in the first place.Victoria Flores with the Central Valley Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Thursday's deadly accident is another example of the justice system not being hard enough on those who break the law.Flores says, "We need to be stricter. People need to believe that we're serious about not allowing these things to happen anymore."Flores says she knows what family and friends of 26-year-old Matt Harkenrider, are going through.On March 26, 2010, Flores' son, Rick was killed by an impaired driver.Flores says, "A lot of questions go through a victims mind. I'm just so sorry for the family that they have to go through this."In Thursday's deadly accident police say Sotto was driving a stolen SUV when she ran a red light and t-boned Harkenrider's car, killing him instantly.Police say Sotto was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash.Fresno County Superior Court records show Sotto was a fugitive at the accident, and it wasn't her first time in trouble with the law.In 2006, Sotto was arrested for drugs.She only got 3 years' probation.In 2009, she was arrested for unlawful entry into a non-commercial building, for which she was sentenced to 180 days in jail.In 2010, she was convicted for having drug. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.In 2012, she was convicted for identity theft, and removing a shopping cart, for which she was sentenced to a year in jail.In 2013, she was ticketed for going through a recycle can.In August of 2013, a warrant was issued for arrest, because she didn't show up in court on a drug charge.Flores says judges need to give stiffer sentences and those convicted need to stay behind bars, not get out due to overcrowding.Flores says, "Letting them know it's a serious offense, because most people think it's a joke. They go to jail and make it home before the judge gets home."
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.