Paso Robles man who killed bicyclist gets 75 days in jail

May 6, 2016

justice 2A 20-year-old Paso Robles man who killed one bicyclist and seriously injured another by reaching for his phone while driving has received a 75-day jail sentence. The defendant was 18 at the time of the crash. [Tribune]

On Nov. 28, 2014, Joseph Mondo was driving a GMC Yukon SUV on Nacimiento Road east of Adelaida Road when he struck and killed Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, 62. Craig’s companion, Orange County surgeon Lawrence Chong, 59, suffered major injuries in the crash.

In March, Mondo pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and reckless driving. Judge Donald Umhofer sentenced Mondo on Thursday.

Mondo received a 45-day sentence for the crimes pertaining to the crash and a 30-day sentence for violating his probation. The Paso Robles man must also perform 50 hours of community service and pay a yet-to-be-determined amount of restitution.

Prior to the crash, Mondo was returning home from Jack-in-the-Box in Paso Robles when his phone fell out of his lap and into the center console. Mondo took his eyes off the road to retrieve the phone, and when he looked up, he veered onto the right shoulder to avoid a vehicle that was stopped to make a left turn.

When Mondo returned to the lane, he again tried to retrieve his phone. He then hit the bicyclists. Mondo told investigators he did not know how long his eyes were off the road.

CHP investigators estimate Mondo was driving about 60 mph in a 55 mph zone. The impact of the collision threw Craig 126 feet and Chong about 84 feet, according to CHP estimates. Mondo was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash occurred.

At the time of the collision, Mondo was on probation for a misdemeanor exhibition of speed conviction and several infractions relating to speeding and other traffic violations.

Chong, who is a vitreoretinal surgeon, has undergone several surgeries. Chong’s work volume has reportedly dropped by 50 percent because of his injuries.

Mondo is due to report to jail by July 15.



  1. still laughing says:

    I guess just another case of affluenza like that spoiled kid in Texas. The only difference is his Mom doesn’t have to run to Mexico to escape justice. Here you just buy your way out.

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  2. OldNed says:

    I wonder if the police or prosecutor ever bothered looking at his social media accounts. He’s pulled some of the Instagram posts (justjoe420) but he had loads of pictures of himself with his pot plants and referred to himself as Farmer Joey. These posts were before and after he hit the people. Yeah, he’s just a good kid from a good family as some commenters elsewhere have suggested. I really doubt whether anyone tested him for weed at the time of the collision.

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  3. dogeatdog says:

    I say if you are really upset don’t ever purchase wine from Mondo Cellars.

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
  4. easymoney says:

    Anyone see pattern here?
    Shakespeare said it, ‘first we kill all the lawyers”…

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
  5. ruinitforeveryone says:

    Too bad a national news outlet couldn’t shine a little light on this story. There will obviously be no justice, but to have this dirtbags face seen as that of a killer by millions might have an impact.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Lady Justice is NOT blind…she loves MONEY!

    (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
  7. evelcoito says:

    Kaylee Weisenberg got 15 years in prison for hitting the CHP officer on River Road in Paso. 75 days vs. 15 years, big difference. DUI vs Distracted driving ?

    (33) 37 Total Votes - 35 up - 2 down
  8. heybobareebob says:

    Been waiting to see what happened on this one. He only got 45 days for killing this poor woman. 2 counts of misdemeanor VM should have got him a year on each count. Thank our stupid legislators and bought off judge for giving him 45 days. Outrageous.

    (36) 38 Total Votes - 37 up - 1 down
  9. Citizen says:

    The Harvard trained surgeon, nationally known, may never be able to perform surgery again and the woman killed was his wife, a hospital administrator.

    Who was Mondo’s attorney?

    (36) 36 Total Votes - 36 up - 0 down
    • achillesheal says:

      It may not be much consolation for the surviving spouse, but since criminal negligence was proven at the criminal trial, negligence should be easy to prove in a civil trial and monetary damages should be significant.

      (28) 30 Total Votes - 29 up - 1 down
      • RonHolt says:

        I would be OK with that if I thought they could get much out of a 20-year old kid. I don’t think they could attach the parent’s assets directly so they may be out-of-luck unless the kid has already been given a big chunk of cash. I wish that the court had given him a 75-week sentence and put him on probation after that until such time that all resulting civil damages had been paid.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • dogeatdog says:

      probably Funke Bilu

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down

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