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.


Parents own Mondo Cellars and they can afford big city Attorneys….and they also contribute $$$$$$$$ to county functions and campaign’s…….mystery solved


A persons life is only worth 75 days of lost liberty?

Strange days, indeed.


My condolences to the families.

They have just been re-victimized by the court.



Is talking and texting on a cellphone while driving not equivalent to premeditated murder????


Indeed. If a DUI driver caused a similar tragedy, the sentence would be equal to premeditated murder, and many folks would be clamoring for even more time. Is intentionally distracting yourself while driving somehow more noble? Is it because almost everyone, including the judge, jury, and even the DA likely do the same silly stuff with their phones all the time while they are driving?

I think that any accident involving a smart phone should be sentenced the same as a DUI in severity. If people don’t like that, maybe it’s time re-think DUI sentencing standards.


While I think that the sentence is too light, Let me throw this out there. Say the kid was reaching for his dropped burger instead of a cell phone. Should the sentence be the same as a DUI sentencing? Would the the comments be the same? Just asking.


It really doesn’t matter what he was doing. Manslaughter is manslaughter but apparently, it’s ok when you are a Mondo and have good lawyers.


Way to go courts of justice! You kill somebody while fiddling with your phone, which is illegal while driving, and you get 75 DAYS in jail? That places a pretty cheap price on human life, and lets the millennials continue killing people while having a self-indulgent good time. This is sick.

Ben Daho

Who’s nephew is this kid? He was already on probation because he was reckless behind a wheel. He has his phone in his lap? What is going on with a phone in a lap? Texting? Then tried to retrieve it twice? 2 human beings lives were ruined one forever and 75 days? What is wrong with these judges?

mary margaret

I frankly do not see the difference between this and DWI driving. An innocent person is dead. Would a repeat DWI offender have received a longer sentence? I think so, but I’m not positive. Please enlighten me.


The difference between cellphone-distracted driving and DUI is that cellphone-distracted driving is WORSE. Not to excuse DUI, but at least a drunk is TRYING to drive the car, as opposed to the cellphone activity which requires that you look away from the road. It is the height of arrogance to text and drive, but unfortunately I see it multiple times every day.

Jorge Estrada

The digital world may kill more that smoking, things are getting out of hand? Another news media announced that 275 million email accounts have been compromised (yahoo included) so get ready for damage control before your files possibly get sold to the wrong person. Then again is there any right stranger viewing your business letters your everything on your email server?


No one’s nephew, his parents own Mondo Cellars Winery…big money…good Attorneys


Where is the justice?

Rich in MB

A life in California is now worth 75Days….

Well there you have it folks, plan accordingly.


So 5 of society’s aholes gone for a little over a year? Persoanlly I so F’ing disgusted with this counties B/S backhanded, who ya know and who ya blow politics I could puke. If this was some unrich nobody person they would be locked up for decades. Disgusting… just disgusting, there is no justice system, only a criminal system.


An outrageously short sentence for such a horrific, Totally preventable accident. With sentences like that, distracted driving will continue, and so will the carnage.