Arcadia Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Racing Champ's Son

Arcadia resident Tatsuhiko Sakamoto was arraigned on vehicular manslaughter charges in the death of Connor Penhall, son of racing great and actor Bruce Penhall

An Arcadia man accused of mowing down a road worker while driving drunk on a closed freeway in Baldwin Park pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday at the Superior Courthouse in Pomona.

Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 37, in the death of Connor Penhall, son of motorcycle racing legend and actor Bruce Penhall. Sakamoto's blood alcohol level was reportedly above the legal limit of .08 at the time of the April 4 incident.

The younger Penhall, 21, was operating a concrete saw for a Caltrans subcontractor on the westbound 10 freeway at Francisquito Avenue when Sakamoto allegedly drove a Toyota Rav4 through traffic cones marking the closed section of freeway.

Penhall was pronounced dead at the scene.

Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jane Robison told the Pasadena Star-News Sakamoto will appear again in court June 27 for his preliminary hearing. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the District Attorney's Office has said.

Patrick Lee May 31, 2012 at 10:23 PM
We're deleting mike johnson's comment because it was racially inflammatory.
Shay Pierson June 01, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Only 10 years?
R Terry June 02, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I had the same thought. 10 years means 5 years or less. You always get out in half the sentence number unless you get in lots more trouble while in prison or refuse to do "programing" like counciling classes.
R Terry June 02, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I just realized something. This guy probably had not done this before so he will get a lesser sentence. Most likely 3 years, out in 18 months. 3 years parole, then he is back to life as usual, partying, drinking, whatever...while the victim is...still dead.
Betty Saleh June 02, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Thanks. I was hoping someone would. His race has nothing to do with this. It was his lack of judgement for driving while intoxicated.


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