Cycling champion Ethan Boyes was killed last April by a driver operating under the influence, but that driver just got a very lenient plea deal of only two misdemeanor counts, and faces no longer than a year in jail.

It was April 4 of last year when two-time USA Cycling Masters Track National Champion Ethan Boyes was struck and killed while bicycling on Arguello Boulevard in the Presidio. And in the weeks after that tragedy, we learned the 81-year-old driver Arnold Kinman Low was indeed intoxicated at the time he crashed into and killed Boyes. So you’d think prosecutors would throw the book at him, right?

Not quite. Since the fatal crash took place on federal land in the Presidio, the case against Low was prosecuted by assistant US attorneys. And the Chronicle reported in early March that those federal prosecutors had accepted a plea deal of only two misdemeanor counts, which would carry only a maximum of one year in prison. US District Judge James Donato seemed pretty baffled by the very lenient plea deal, but allowed it to move forward.

And now KGO reports that the plea deal has been finalized, and Low will accept it. All of the charges against Low have been whittled down to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter and operating under the influence of alcohol. And yes, those two counts combined carry a maximum of a one-year prison sentence.

Low’s attorney Douglas Rappaport insists the crash was an accident, and claims his client had only two glasses of wine (though Low’s blood alcohol concentration has not been confirmed, nor made public in this case). And it is true, according to KGO, that Ethan Boyes’s family sent the judge a letter saying, “It is our sincerest belief that Ethan would in no way want to see Mr. Low incarcerated, nor would he have wanted our family or Mr. Low and his family to endure the lengthy and painful process that a criminal trial will surely entail."

That’s little comfort to the local cycling community. Political consultant and one-time Critical Mass guy Quentin Mecke compares the light sentence to the much harsher four years in prison for former SFPUC head Harlan Kelly, who was also prosecuted by the feds.

“Yet this same office of federal prosecutors charged driver Arthur Kinman Low with one count of vehicular manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol for killing champion cyclist Ethan Boyes last April,” Mecke wrote in a letter to the Chronicle. “Shockingly, despite having just killed someone, Low was allowed to continue driving for the eight months it took the office to charge him.”

Low’s sentencing is scheduled for July 15. Meanwhile, KGO notes that there is a 12-hour memorial ride for Ethan Boyes on April 4 (the one-year anniversary of his death), at Polo Field in Golden Gate Park, where he used to train, from 4 am to 4 pm.

Related: Driver Who Hit and Killed Cyclist In Presidio May Have Been Intoxicated [SFNews]

Image: @kevinchlo via Twitter