PORTLAND, Ore. – Fernando Cuevas Jr., the suspect in a fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a man exiting his car in Southeast Portland on Saturday, was in court Monday.
A charge of criminally negligent homicide was added to the two existing charges against Cuevas Jr., failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run) and recklessly endangering another person.
The victim, 24-year-old Hussain Ahmed Alhamzah, of Portland, was getting out his parked car at Southeast 122nd Avenue and Liebe Street at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when he was hit by a car, driven by Cuevas Jr.
Alhamzah was taken to a local hospital but succumbed to his injuries Sunday morning.
Cuevas Jr., of Vancouver, Wash., did not stop at the scene and continued northbound on 122nd Avenue, Portland police said. Officers located the vehicle in the area of Southeast 140th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.
He was arrested and booked into Multnomah County Jail.
The victim's cousin, Eman Alhamzah, flew in from Wisconsin and addressed the suspect Monday in court.
"You killed a 24-year-old. He was young, happy guy," he said to Cuevas, who was standing just a few feet away.
"He doesn't deserve to be released. That's not fair. And if he did that, killed my cousin, he may do that to other people, too," Alhamzah told the court.
Cuevas also addressed the court.
"Bad mistake. I wish I would've stopped," he said. "I don't know why, I just got scared. I didn't see him, I don't know what happened. I'm really sorry."