An Illinois man who disappeared from Madison 12 years ago after police said he struck and killed a pedestrian with his van pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of hit-and-run resulting in death.
Felix Romero-Ocotl, 41, of Freeport, faces up to 25 years of combined prison and extended supervision when he is sentenced in about two months by Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara.
Under a plea agreement, Assistant District Attorney Awais Khaleel said he will seek no more than three years in prison for Romero-Ocotl, whose lawyer, state Assistant Public Defender Crystal Vera, is free to ask for any sentence.
A criminal complaint states that on March 10, 2007, Romero-Ocotl struck Lucas R. Peerenboom, 20, as Peerenboom crossed South Park Street near Regent Street. Peerenboom sustained head injuries and remained in a coma until he died on March 31, 2007.
Through an auto glass repairman, police tracked down Romero-Ocotl and interviewed him on April 3, 2007. He said he had struck a deer with his van. Then he abruptly left town.
Last year on July 4, Romero-Ocotl was arrested in Freeport after a drunken driving crash in which he took out a traffic light. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving on Aug. 22, and was given a 100-day, time-served sentence.
He was then transferred to Dane County on a long-outstanding warrant.