A Kennewick man who was drunk when he ran over a mother and her toddler in a shopping center parking lot will spend one year and three months in prison.
Larry Leo Eldhardt Jr., 41, had a blood-alcohol level almost two times the legal limit in the Oct. 23 incident that left the mother with a skull fracture.
The victim, Maria Solorzano, asked for justice for her and her daughter during Eldhardt's sentencing this week in Benton County Superior Court.
Eldhardt must pay $8,796 to the Crime Victims Compensation Program in Olympia to cover the medical costs.
He pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to felony vehicular assault, along with possession of less than 40 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
Kennewick police and court documents show that Eldhardt took five or six shots of whiskey before heading to the liquor store at Highway 395 and Kennewick Avenue for more alcohol. The store was closed since it was 9:30 p.m., so Eldhardt drove his truck through the parking lot to get something to eat at the Denny's restaurant.
That's when he became distracted by his dog and struck Solorzano and her 1-year-old daughter. Solorzano, the toddler and another daughter, age 10, were walking across the lot to Denny's.
The oldest daughter was able to jump out of the way, but Solorzano and the toddler were hit from behind. Solorzano was treated at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland for her injuries. The younger girl had scrapes and bruises.
After hitting them, Eldhardt drove over a parking curb and onto a grassy area in the parking lot, documents said.
He reportedly tried to leave the scene but was held by two witnesses until police arrived. Witnesses also reported seeing Eldhardt put something in the bed of his truck, which officers later determined was a plastic bag of suspected marijuana and a smoking pipe, court documents said.
Officers described his eyes as being "watery, bloodshot and droopy," and said he had a blank stare on his face and a strong odor of intoxicants, documents state.
When asked by police to rate his sobriety on a scale of one to 10, Eldhardt placed himself at a five.
His blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent at the time, according to documents. The legal limit to drive in Washington is 0.08.
Eldhardt's criminal history includes 1988 convictions for first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree burglary.
After serving his time on the vehicular assault, he is not allowed to drive without an ignition interlock device.
Pasco man denies threats
A 35-year-old man pleaded innocent to allegations he threatened to kill his ex-wife.
Derrick N. Norwood of Pasco is scheduled for trial May 16 on one count of felony harassment with a domestic violence allegation.
Norwood -- whose name also is spelled Derick in court records -- was arrested by Kennewick police after making threatening calls and text messages to Reanna Norwood on Feb. 15, documents said.
Reanna Norwood, 34, of Kennewick reportedly told police it had been going on for about a week. She was attempting to get an anti-harassment order against him at the time.
When questioned, Derrick Norwood denied threatening to kill her but admitted to saying that "if she wants to kill herself, he would get her the gun," court documents state.
Norwood is out of custody after posting $5,000 bail. He is ordered to have no contact with his ex-wife while the case is pending.