Independence man pleads guilty to hit-run death

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 | 11:20 a.m. CST

INDEPENDENCE — An Independence man pleaded guilty in the November 2007 hit-run death of a 17-year-old bicyclist.

Wilfredo Pujols pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder, resisting arrest and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. A driving while intoxicated charge was dismissed.

The 25-year-old Pujols faces a 20-year maximum prison term on each count at sentencing in April 2009.

Authorities said Pujols' car hit another vehicle and then rammed it to move it out of the way on an Independence street.

When police gave chase, Pujols ran a red light and hit a bicycle at an estimated 90 miles per hour, killing Truman High School student Christopher Cooper.

Pujols' vehicle hit a tree, and he and a passenger fled into a wooded area where they were caught.

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