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Suspect accused of hitting, killing Escondido cyclist makes court appearance

Posted at 1:04 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 21:08:52-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) -- The man accused of hitting and killing an Escondido bicyclist appeared in court Wednesday on unrelated charges.

Jamison Connor, 41, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

The charges were unrelated to the deadly hit-and-run and were instead a result of parole violations in which Connor was found with a bag of methamphetamine and a loaded gun during a traffic stop. Also in the truck at the time of the stop was Connor's young son, prosecutors say.

The District Attorney's office went into detail outside the courtroom about the arrest.

"During their investigation, police noted several signs and symptoms the defendant was under the effect of controlled substances and alcohol," said Assistant DA Chris Campbell.

RELATED: Grieving family learns of hit-and-run arrest on Thanksgiving holiday

Escondido Police pulled Connor over Thanksgiving morning, driving with his four-year-old son.

"When they took the defendant out, law enforcement searched the truck. They found a bag of meth in passenger side door and loaded 25 caliber firearm in glove compartment."

After his arrest, police announced Connor as the suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed 36-year-old Kevin Lentz.

Lentz was cycling with a group along La Honda Road north of El Norte Parkway when he was hit head-on November 23.

“The driver of the car was on the wrong side of the road, traveling at high speed on a blind curve when he hit Kevin head-on, killing him instantly,” wrote Devin Rickey on a GoFundMepage set up for Lentz’ family.

RELATED: Friends mourn bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash

Officers later found a dark Toyota sedan abandoned about a half-mile away from the crash on the 600 block of Aster Street. Police say the vehicle had significant damage to the windshield and roof.

Lentz raced competitively for the TASCO MTB mountain bike team before scaling back his riding to spend more time with family and friends. He married his wife Lauren in 2016.