PACIFIC PALISADES—Mark Christian Johnson of Escondido, 55, entered open pleas of no contest yesterday to one felony count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in death, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly, and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
According to court testimony, in July 2016 Johnson struck José Serrano, 63, with his Toyota Prius near the corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Parthenia Street in North Hills, killing him. Johnson failed to stop his vehicle as required by law, and fled the scene.
Police later spotted Johnson’s damaged car in the San Fernando area and began a pursuit. The defendant was arrested after a chase along Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades where police forced his car to a stop.
Johnson had both barbiturates and amphetamines in his system at the time of the arrest, prosecutors indicated. He is expected to surrender to authorities on June 14 to begin serving a sentence of one year in jail followed by a six-month, live-in drug treatment program. He was also sentenced to three years probation.