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Chris Bucchere, bicyclist in San Francisco, pleads guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter

SAN FRANCISCO A 37-year-old man charged with fatally striking a 71-year-old pedestrian with his bicycle in a San Francisco crosswalk has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter.

Prosecutors are calling Chris Bucchere's conviction unprecedented. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that he will be sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service as part of a plea deal. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Prosecutors say Bucchere was riding recklessly and had run through several red lights when he struck Sutchi Hui on March 29, 2012, at Castro and Market streets. Hui was walking with his wife, who was not hurt.

Bucchere, who pleaded not guilty after felony charges were initially filed, has said he was "devastated" by the death of Hui, reports CBS affiliate KPIX in San Francisco.

District Attorney George Gascón said eye witness accounts that described a cyclist going fast -- by some estimates around 32 mph in a 25 mph zone -- and ignoring traffic signals and road signs also support his decision to prosecute felony charge, KPIX reports.

"His selfish motivation, his need for speed and his behavior were completely horrible," Gascon said.

Gascon told that the conviction sends the proper message.

"We made it very clear that we wanted Mr. Bucchere to be held accountable, and I think it was important to get a felony conviction because the conduct warranted it," Gascon said. "On the other hand, he is a first-time offender, and we want to give him a chance for rehabilitation and redemption."

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