Aussie’s Hollywood hit-and-run killer gets just 30 days jail
An American basketballer has been sentenced to just a month in jail and 300 hours community service for the hit and run death of an Australian man.
Andrew Mallard was 56 when he was struck and left to die on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood by Kristopher Ryan Smith in April last year. It was a tragic end for Mr Mallard, who was wrongfully convicted of a murder in West Australia and jailed for 12 years.
He had been found guilty of killing Perth jeweller Pamela Lawrence in 1994, but was released in 2005 after the High Court quashed his conviction.
Mr Mallard was awarded $3.25 million by the state for the wrongful conviction and had moved to Britain where he was starting a new life.
He was on a US trip to visit his fiance when he was killed and had been out to dinner with his friends.
Smith, 21, had pleaded guilty and escaped a possible four year prison term.
The Los Angeles District Attorney announced his sentence on Thursday, local time.
At the time of his death, West Australia's Attorney-General John Quigley paid tribute to the man he had played a part in freeing, along with then journalist Colleen Egan.
"I'm terribly saddened by this tragedy," he said.
"It's just fortunate that he got to spend 13 years of freedom after so much time wrongfully imprisoned."
Egan spoke about the friendship she had built with Mr Mallard as she worked towards uncovering his wrongful conviction.
"I suppose it's bittersweet that maybe he was feeling some happiness at the time that he was taken," she said of the fact that he was engaged.
Los Angeles police had offered an AUD $40,000 reward for information about who had struck Mr Mallard.
Smith surrendered himself to police five days after Mallard died at the scene and was charged with one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury and one misdemeanour count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.
He said in a local TV interview after his arrest that the death was an accident.
"I panicked," Smith said at the time.
"I just went home to my mum."
Originally published as Aussie's Hollywood hit-and-run killer gets just 30 days jail