A Moreno Valley man who crashed an SUV into a security station at a Long Beach apartment complex, killing a guard, was sentenced Tuesday, March 22, to two years in state prison after apologizing to the victim’s family.
Quentin Darnell Black, 32, pleaded no contest last month to a felony count of vehicular manslaughter for the June 12, 2021, collision that killed 54-year-old Derrick Smith of Los Angeles.
A second count against Black — hit-and-run driving — was dismissed as a result of the plea.
In an emotional statement in court, in which he addressed the victim’s family, Black said, “It (the crash) wasn’t on purpose. … I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I did not mean to do that to Mr. Smith.”
The victim’s mother, Jenell Nelson, said she was “very disappointed with what’s going on here with Mr. Black.”
She said she believed the two-year prison sentence was “just a slap on the wrist.”
“Two years — I’m insulted,” she said. My family’s insulted.”
Superior Court Judge Chet Taylor noted that the sentence stemmed from an agreed-upon disposition between the prosecution and the defense.
The crash occurred at the Century Villages at Cabrillo apartment complex in the 2000 block of San Gabriel Avenue, near Pacific Coast Highway and the 103 Freeway.
Police said last year that a preliminary investigation revealed that the 2012 Chevy Tahoe was driving at a high rate of speed when it appeared to lose control and strike the security guard shack.
Police officers found the guard injured inside the shack and provided medical aid until paramedics arrived. Medical personnel continued to administer aid, but Smith died at the scene.
Black abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. He was arrested by Long Beach police two days after the crash and subsequently released on bond, according to jail records.