A Palmdale man was sentenced Friday to 22 years to life in state prison for leading police on a pursuit in 2012 that ended with the death of a 2-year-old girl.
Marvin Hicks apologized several times at his sentencing hearing for his actions that led to the death of Madison Ruano. The 47-year-old said he had shed many tears, he was “not a heartless demon or animal,” and he hoped others would learn from his mistakes.
“I never wanted to hurt anyone…” Hicks told the court. “I live with it every day of my life.”
Several people in the courtroom wiped away tears as members of the Ruano family shared their grief over the loss of Baby Madison.
“We continue to struggle with that senseless act and always will,” said Madison’s paternal grandfather, Michael Ruano Sr.
The toddler’s maternal grandfather, Edward Brentlinger, said he had “collapsed on the ground” upon hearing about Madison’s death and said his tears had flowed for days and months.
“It’s been almost two years now and the pain has just been devastating to my family,” Edward Brentlinger said.
Michael Ruano Jr. spoke about birthdays, the first day of school, and other milestones that he would never get to experience with his daughter.
“We were robbed of Madison’s life… because of the actions of Mr. Hicks,” he said.
And Tina Ruano said there were no words that could adequately describe her grief.
“Life as I know it has been ripped out from underneath me,” she said. “For the rest of my days I will be physically and emotionally impacted by one man’s stupid decision that day,” Tina Ruano said.
On Dec. 6, 2012, Hicks was high on PCP and under the influence of alcohol when he fled a traffic stop and drove more than 100 mph through Lancaster. Hicks crossed into oncoming traffic and ran five red lights before crashing his Toyota into Tina Ruano’s Lexus in the intersection of 10th Street West and Avenue I.
Tina Ruano was seriously injured and her daughter, 2-year-old Madison, was killed in the collision.
On April 14, an Antelope Valley jury found Hicks guilty of evading an officer causing injury, evading an officer causing death, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury; but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder count.
Last week, a different jury deliberated for three hours before finding Hicks guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Baby Madison.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Blanchard on Friday imposed the maximum sentence permissible under the law.
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