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Drunk driver who killed 7-year-old girl gets 13 years

Citizen Staff Writer



A Tucson man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing a 7-year-old girl while driving drunk was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

As part of the penalty, no probation is available.

John Michael Kellogg, 24, faced a minimum of seven to a maximum of 21 years in prison if the case was heard by a jury.

Kellogg was driving a Jeep Cherokee on March 14, 2008, when he struck an ATV at a speed estimated at 53 to 72 mph in an area where the speed limit was 25 mph.

Court records show he “got out to assess the damage, returned to his vehicle, made a U-turn and drove away.”

A few minutes later he returned to the crash site at West Chumblers Road near South Spur Drive.

Deputies found alcohol at the scene and said his blood sample showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.152 percent, nearly double the level at which a person is presumed impaired.

“I was drunk and someone died,” he said, according to presentence report filed in the case.

“Now my family, my wife and son are going to lose me forever.”

Kellogg also said he was “heartbroken” over the death of Lizette Ruiz Partida, the child who was riding on the ATV with her stepfather. Neither she nor her stepfather wore a helmet.

The girl died a few hours later of blunt force trauma, according to court records. The girl’s stepfather Victoriano Diaz-Morales, 42, had minor injuries.

Kellogg was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the child’s family.

He pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced March 19.

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