Los Angeles, CA – A man convicted of vehicular manslaughter for killing a Los Angeles police officer in 2014 was sentenced to probation only on Tuesday.
Dump truck driver Robert Maldonado, 49, will serve no time in prison, despite causing the collision that killed veteran Los Angeles Police Officer Nicholas Lee, KABC reported.
He faced potential prison time of up to six years, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The incident occurred at approximately 8 a.m. on March 7, 2014, when Maldonado’s dump truck slammed into the officer’s patrol vehicle, killing him on impact, KABC reported.
A female officer, who had graduated from the police academy just three months earlier, also sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash, MyNewsLA.com reported.
Investigators determined that Maldonado, who owns a dump truck company, failed to properly maintain and inspect his truck as required by law, which caused the brakes to fail.
In April of 2017, Maldonado pleaded no contest to the felony charge, on the condition that the offense would be reduced to a misdemeanor if he was not arrested or convicted of another offense for a period of one year.
On Tuesday, Judge David Stuart determined that Maldonado satisfied the requirements of the plea agreement, and sentenced him to five years of probation on the lesser offense.
“I’m very happy with this outcome, although it’s a very tragic case that a police officer has been lost,” Maldonado’s attorney, Andrew Flier, told MyNewsLA.com. “We wish the best for the Lee family.”
Officer Lee, 40, was a 16-year veteran of the LAPD, KABC reported.
He immigrated to the U.S. from Korea with his family when he was six years old, and went on to earn over 70 commendations during his career with the department.
“Nick was a great cop,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said, according to the department’s website. “His hard work, dedication and leadership helped mold young police officers into law enforcement professionals.”
Officer Lee married his wife, Cathy, in 2001, and was the father of two young girls.