Trial to begin for suspect in fatal DWI hit-and-run near River of Lights

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A trial begins Monday for the man accused of a DWI hit-and-run that claimed the life of a 7-year-old boy near River of Lights in 2021.

Sergio Almanza allegedly ran a red light while driving an off-road vehicle drunk at Tingley and Central in December 2021. Right as he did, 7-year-old Pronoy Bhattacharya and his father were walking in the crosswalk.

Pronoy was killed while his father was injured.

Albuquerque police and federal authorities sought Almanza for nearly two months. Then, in January 2022, the U.S. Marshals Service said Almanza surrendered to them in southwest New Mexico.

Almanza pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance in February 2022 but waived his right to a detention hearing. Then, that March, under the guidance of new attorneys, Almanza requested pretrial release to see his kids, but a judge denied that.