A drunken driver whose car crash led to the death of a 19-year-old Rocklin man pleaded no contest Thursday to vehicular manslaughter.
Jacinto Roy Mendoza, 21, is scheduled for a Jan. 26 sentencing by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown for the death of Matthew Jacob George.
Mendoza is facing a 10-year state prison term with a promise of getting half of his time off if he behaves in prison, according to his attorney, Larry Pilgrim.
Pilgrim said Mendoza on Aug. 13 had taken light rail and walked to Paradise Beach where he met up with a crowd of young people who had gathered at the popular American River party spot near Sacramento State.
According to Pilgrim, Mendoza, after a day of drinking, agreed to drive when the crowd left the river. He then crashed on Highway 50.
George, who was riding in the trunk of the car, was ejected from the vehicle. Authorities said his body was found the next day in a field beneath the freeway.
Mendoza registered a .15 blood-alcohol level in a reading taken several hours after the crash, Pilgrim said.