Hector Francisco Heredia, the Nogales man who fatally struck bicyclist Mark Ryan Seeger with his truck last May, pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter on Tuesday.
“If I accept your plea agreement, there’s a stipulation that you would be sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the Arizona Department of Corrections of 7.5 years,” Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink told the 42-year-old defendant.
Fink accepted Heredia’s guilty plea and scheduled his sentencing hearing for March 15.
The plea stems from an incident on the morning of May 31, 2020, when Heredia fatally struck Seeger, a 66-year-old Nogales resident and well-known member of the local cycling community, while Heredia was driving under the influence on North Grand Avenue, between Congress Drive and Frank Reed Road.
After striking Seeger with his Ford pickup, Heredia fled the scene. The truck was later located in the Monte Carlo neighborhood and Heredia was arrested that same day, the Nogales Police Department said at the time.
Witnesses said Seeger went over the hood and back of the truck before falling on the road, county prosecutor Gary Redente said during Tuesday’s change of plea hearing.
Heredia, answering a question from the judge, acknowledged that he had been under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the incident.
“Mr. Heredia was driving recklessly. He was under the influence of methamphetamine and this impaired his ability to drive,” defense lawyer George Damon said.