San Ramon: Lawyer sentenced in case of fatal 2012 hit-and-run in Dublin

Spencer Freeman Smith will spend month in jail, 11 months under electronic monitoring

A San Ramon lawyer was sentenced last week to a year under surveillance after he pleaded guilty to hitting and killing a Chinese man with his brand-new Mercedes-Benz in 2012.

Spencer Freeman Smith, who lived in San Ramon at the time of the crash, was sentenced Friday to one month in county jail, 11 months of electronic monitoring and five years of felony probation related to the death of 57-year-old Bo Hu, a Chinese national who was visiting the Tri-Valley, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Smith pleaded guilty Sept. 11 to a felony hit-and-run charge and a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

In May 2012, Smith hit Hu from behind while Hu was bicycling on Dougherty Road near Fall Creek Road in Dublin, a section of road that did not have bike lanes. Smith didn't stop and drove back to his San Ramon home, where police found his damaged black 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS55, according to prosecutors. Hu died at the scene of the crash.

Smith initially pleaded not guilty and in July 2013 tried to renegotiate a plea deal being offered by prosecutors. The trial was planned to start April 2014, but a litany of postponements, plea changes and other delays pushed the case back.

Smith is still listed as a partner at the San Francisco firm of Smith Patten, which focuses on employment law, according to the firm's website.


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