A man convicted in San Benito County courts of driving under the influence of drugs and causing great bodily injuries in early 2017, along with a felony count relating to a kidnapping case, is facing a likely prison sentence of two years and eight months.
Leroy A. Zamaripa, a 42-year-old from Gilroy, accepted a plea deal in court last week on the felony charge of DUI causing great bodily injury and an additional felony false imprisonment count.
He appeared with his attorney Greg LaForge last Thursday at the San Benito County Courthouse to accept the plea bargain and will be back in court Nov. 29 for his official sentencing. He vacated his trial scheduled for December, and his bail is set at $50,000.
Zamaripa was arrested in San Benito County in Jan. 26, 2017 on suspicion of kidnapping and again Feb. 12, 2017 on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs causing great bodily injury, according to court records. In exchange for pleading no contest to the DUI-related incident, in which the wreck injured three people, he agreed to drop an additional charge of committing a felony with use of a firearm.
Zamaripa also had prior convictions in Santa Clara County that added to his initial charges in San Benito County. Part of the delay in his case is that he failed to appear for a court hearing in May of this year, but was finally held in custody for the charges in August 2018. Prosecutors initially charged him in March 2017, and he was initially in custody for the charges in August 2017, according to court records. Court records do not indicate what occurred causing a delay between August 2017 and May 2018.
Zamaripa appeared before visiting Judge Lee Felice last Thursday, Nov. 1, and agreed to the two-year term on the DUI causing injuries case. He faced up to three years for that charge. He agreed to eight months on the false imprisonment case. Another judge will hand down the sentence at his sentence hearing. He also faces mandatory fines for restitution.