Man sentenced for murder, one year to the day after deadly DUI crash near Clovis

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — The widow of Peter Binz shared the pain she still feels from losing her husband as the man who killed him appeared in court to learn his fate on Friday.

Lisa Binz asked us not to show her face as she spoke about the agony of waiting for answers the night Peter went for a bike and never returned.

“I did not sleep that night trying to find him,” Lisa said. “Driving his route. Calling the hospitals. What I didn’t know was he was already dead.”

Lisa joined more than a dozen family members in court committed to the pursuit of justice and keeping Peter’s memory alive.

“Peter was one of the most charismatic people you would ever want to meet,” Lisa said. “He had big dreams. He worked hard. And he loved life.”

The impact statements come exactly one year after investigators say Jonathan Petty was driving drunk and struck Peter with his pickup truck. The tragedy happened on Herndon, near Langley Avenue.

CHP documents reveal Petty left the scene without stopping to help Peter or even calling 911. Prosecutors say he was well over the legal alcohol limit.

“He was found not with a telephone in his hand, but a beer,” said Deputy District Attorney Steven Ueltzen.

Petty pleaded no contest to murder and leaving the scene. He was on probation for a previous DUI when the deadly crash happened.

In court, the 27-year-old stood with his head down, just a few feet away from Peter’s family. Petty’s attorney offered a short statement.

“He expressed remorse for his actions,” Public Defender Roy Jae Ho Park said. “He apologized for his conduct. I know there are no words we can say.”

Moments later, the judge handed down the maximum sentence, ordering Petty to serve 15 years to life in state prison.

The court case is now closed, but a hole remains in the hearts of Peter’s family.

“There are no words to express how painful this loss is to me and my family,” Peter’s sister, Mary Cox, said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.