Homicide charge leveled in Portland hit-run

Fernando Cuevas Jr. faces criminally negligent homicide, other charges

Fernando Cuevas Jr. in his first court appearance related to a fatal hit-and-run crash, July 3, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The man who told KOIN 6 News he regrets his decision to keep driving after hitting and killing a man in Southeast Portland pleaded not guilty after being indicted by a grand jury.

On Wednesday, Fernando Cuevas Jr. was arraigned for criminally negligent homicide, hit-and-run and reckless endangerment. He entered his plea in a Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Cuevas allegedly hit and killed Hussain Ahmed Alhamzah around SE 122nd and Liebe as Alhamzah stepped out of his parked car. Police said Cuevas was likely speeding and distracted when he drifted into the bike lane and hit Alhamzah.

Alhamzah was 24.

“I feel so stupid for leaving the scene.” — Fernando Cuevas Jr

Cuevas’ girlfriend was inside the vehicle with him when the crash happened. She later told police that when the impact occurred, she had been sleeping but then woke up right away.

She also told police Cuevas said he had “f–ked up” and that he had “ruined his life.”

In a phone interview July 3, Cuevas told KOIN 6 News “It was just a really bad accident. I feel so stupid for leaving the scene.”

Police said Cuevas continued traveling northbound on Southeast 122nd Avenue. Officers located his vehicle in the area of SE 140th Avenue and Holgate.

“When the crash happened I kept going, he said “I accelerated.”

Cuevas is scheduled to be back in court in late August. He pled not guilty to the charges he faces.