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Man, 82, accepts plea deal in Oakmont road-rage case

An 82-year old Santa Rosa man charged with running down a bicyclist in his car on a golf course pathway settled his case Friday with a plea bargain carrying a maximum eight-year prison sentence.

Harry E. Smith pleaded no contest to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash and driving with a suspended license in the August 16 road-rage incident at the Oakmont retirement community.

After receiving a detailed report on Smith's mental health, prosecutor Barbara Nanney agreed to drop charges of attempted murder and making criminal threats.

She would not disclose details, but Smith's lawyer, Charles Dresow, said the Korean War veteran suffers a condition "many seniors face."

"Mr. Smith is a good man who lived a good life," Dresow said. "Unfortunately, this has happened to him at the end of his years."

Smith could have been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison if convicted at trial.

The cyclist, Santa Rosa restaurant owner Toraj Soltani, 48, wasn't in court.

His lawyer, Brendan Kunckle, said he recovered from a broken wrist and other injuries. Soltani, the owner of Mac's Deli on Fourth Street, agreed to the terms of the plea bargain, his lawyer said.

A civil lawsuit against Smith seeking $140,000 in medical bills has been settled, he said. He would not disclose the terms.

In court Friday, the white-haired Smith listened through a special hearing device as Judge Ken Gnoss explained the charges, which include three felonies. He could receive anything from probation to eight years and four months in prison when he's sentenced May 3, his lawyer said.


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