Manuel Albandoz, who admitted to being the driver who killed 24-year-old Celina Langan in a hit-and-run at Torresdale and Adams avenues in Philly in July 2010, will be sentenced on homicide by vehicle charges tomorrow.
Here’s what I wrote after his preliminary hearing a few months later:
An East Torresdale man who admitted his involvement in a July 11 fatal hit-and-run waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday. Manuel Albandoz, 40, of Worth Street, faces homicide by vehicle and other charges related to the collision at Torresdale and Adams avenues that left 24-year-old Celina Langan dead.
Judge Bradley K. Moss lowered Albandoz’s bail from $100,000 to $50,000 bond with conditions of home confinement and surrendering, or reporting his passport missing. The prosecutor was concerned Albandoz may flee country.
The nine relatives who attended the hearing included his sister Betzaida, an active Philadelphia police officer, and brother Jose, a retired corrections officer. Defense attorney Louis Savino Jr., who at a previous hearing said Albandoz had “had some drinks, got scared and left the scene,” noted that his client’s sister accompanied him when he turned himself into police 12-15 hours later. Initial DUI charges filed against Albandoz aren’t being pursued.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo said Albandoz hadn’t had a license for about 20 years and that his wife had reported the vehicle stolen earlier that night. Langan was riding her bicycle at the time.
Savino told Moss a “non-trial” outcome – meaning he could plead guilty – is likely, “though I can’t make a 100 percent commitment.”
Obviously, I have a disdain for any hit-and-run driver. But, when they man (or woman) up and admit what they’ve done, it’s a credit to their having a conscience.
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