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Family remembers woman killed in hit-and-run, suspect faces judge

Posted at 9:25 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 00:25:40-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — The man accused of a deadly hit-and-run in Lemon Grove pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance Wednesday.

26-year-old Isaac Payne is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, two counts of DUI, and two counts of hit-and-run.

California State Highway Patrol said Payne was driving at a high rate of speed while intoxicated on Dec. 23 at 8:25 a.m. when he hit 25-year-old Leslie Nunez Rosas' car near the College Avenue offramp on State Route 94.

"Witnesses estimate it was up to 100 miles per hour," Prosecutor Lynn Crum said.

Rosas lost control, careened down an embankment, and was ejected from the car.

Crum said Payne then drove away and also hit three parked cars.

She noted he had a blood alcohol level of .098.

The judge denied Payne bail and stated he was too much of a threat to the public.

"I asked for no bail because he was driving at 8:25 in the morning at extremely high rates of speed on a well-trafficked road," Crum said.

Over a dozen of Rosas' family members attended the hearing, including her sister, Evelyn Nunez, and Evelyn's wife, Valerie.

"Leslie was the joy. She'd walk in with a smile and ask us what we were doing immediately," Valerie said.

"Didn't matter if it was a bad day. She could make your day turn around just like that," Evelyn said.

Valerie and Evelyn described Rosas as a positive, upbeat person whose pride and joy were her kids.

"She was ready to bake cookies with them going into the holidays," Valerie said.

Despite what Payne's accused of, Rosas' sister said she's not angry at him.

"Although that man did what he did, at the end of the day, I can't have hatred for him because that's not what Leslie would have wanted," Evelyn said.

Instead, they're focused on being there for Rosas' two children and her husband.