Venice Man Sentenced to 14 Years for Deadly PCH Pursuit

The aftermath of the Nov. 2017 pursuit of Kevin James Hicks that ended in the death of a landscaper walking on the PCH. Photos: Courtesy Facebook (NBC LA).

Kevin James Hicks pleads no contest for deadly Nov. 2017 incident. 

By Sam Catanzaro 

A 23-year-old man from Venice has pleaded no contest for leading police in November 2017 on a chase and crashing into and killing Juan Castillo, a landscaper walking on the Pacific Coast Highway.

According to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Opper Venice resident Kevin James Hicks entered his plea on October 13 to one felony count each of: fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death, driving or taking a vehicle without consent with a prior, assault with a deadly weapon and DUI causing injury.

Hicks in his plea also admitted to causing great bodily injury. He was immediately sentenced to 14 years and four months in a California state prison. Hicks was also convicted in Kern County earlier in 2017 for a separate incident of grand theft auto.

Hicks was pursed by the police after he was spotted in a stolen Mazda 6 (left).

The deadly pursuit occurred on November 29, 2017, when the defendant drove a stolen Mazda 6 on the PCH, leading police on a pursuit after officers initially pulled him over near Ramirez Mesa Drive in Malibu. Police stopped pursuing the defendant as he drove at a high rate of speed soon before he struck Juan Castillo, 28, who was walking on the right shoulder, according to the prosecutor.

The case, LA087357, was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lost Hills Station.