PLEASANTON -- As families on both sides of the case wept, Pleasanton teen Cody Hall pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter Thursday for a 2013 accident that killed a Dublin woman and injured her husband while the couple was out on a Sunday bike ride.
In exchange for the plea, Hall will serve nine years in state prison. He will be formally sentenced May 30.
Members of the Hall family as well as relatives of Diana Hersevoort, who was killed when Hall's Dodge Neon veered off Foothill Road, cried as a judge read Hall his rights.
Hall, 19, also wiped away tears and hung his head.
Thursday's decision came nearly a year after Hall, then 18, struck Hersevoort and her husband as they were cycling near Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Hall was driving approximately 80 miles per hour, according to Pleasanton police, twice the posted speed limit.
Diana Hersevoort was killed instantly, while husband Joe suffered a broken leg. On Thursday, their oldest daughter, Leanne Hersevoort, said she was pleased that the case was over, but questioned whether Hall was truly remorseful over the accident.
"He's crying, but it's for himself, not our mom," she said. "He will get out of prison eventually, but our family, our lives will never be the same."
She added that in addition to jail time, she wanted Hall to be required to speak to high school students about the dangers of driving too fast.
Prosecutors sought to charge Hall with murder after investigators found social media posts where he had boasted about driving fast. But Judge Joseph Hurley reduced the charges to vehicular manslaughter with an additional three years for injuring Hersevoort's husband.
After the hearing, Hall's mother, Barbara Klingenfuss, hugged her other son and said she had no words to describe the sadness she felt.
"I want to give my deepest (apologies) to the family," she said. "They are all in my prayers."
At the time of the accident, Diana Hersevoort, a homemaker and grandmother, had recently started cycling, encouraged by her husband. The couple had been married for more than 30 years, and had began cycling every Sunday as a way to be active and spend time together.