23-Year-Old Sentenced in Newport Beach DUI Crash That Killed Parents, Injured Daughters Looking at Holiday Lights – Los Angeles

What to Know

  • Walker stated in court that Coleman was involved with a hit-and run and property damage in Laguna Beach in 2019.
  • Jennifer Walker, Senior Deputy District Attorney, claimed that Coleman was taken home by a driver on the night of the fatal collision in Newport Beach, December 8, 2020. She then returned to her car.
  • According to Andrade’s sister, the family had been looking at holiday lights in the vicinity that night. The victims’ daughters, aged 1, 3, and 5, were dressed in their Christmas pajamas.

Friday’s sentence for a 23-year old woman who crashed drunk into a Newport Beach family as she looked at holiday lights was 21 years. The crash left both parents deceased and the children with broken limbs.

Grace Elizabeth Coleman pleaded guilty on June 24th to a plea bargain from Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett. The deal capped the maximum punishment at 21-years to life in prison, John Barnett, her attorney, said.

Coleman’s defense attorney Paul Meyer said that Coleman had “openly accepted responsibility for this complete disaster.”

“We recognize the difficult judicial call in a very tragic case involving a 22-year old young woman and the truly horrible results of drinking and driving,” Meyer said Friday. “We appreciate Grace Coleman’s maturity in dealing with this tragic situation. She is also able to accept responsibility for her own actions and has been able to complete a year of voluntary community service.

Coleman pleaded guilty in second-degree murder and single counts for driving under the effect of alcohol causing injuries, DUI with a blood alcohol content exceeding.08% causing injury and failure to stop at hit-and-run with injury/death, all felonies as well misdemeanors of driving under alcohol influence and driving with a high blood-alcohol concentration.

Coleman could have been sentenced to up to 42 years, eight months or life in prison, if convicted.
  

Jennifer Walker, Senior Deputy District Attorney, claimed that Coleman was taken home by a driver on the night of the fatal collision in Newport Beach, December 8, 2020. She then returned to her car.

Coleman was arrested at Laguna Beach on Aug. 29, and charged with misdemeanor DUI. Kimberly Edds (a public information officer for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office), said that the case wasn’t submitted to prosecutors before Dec. 16, 2020.

A driver convicted of DUI can be charged with second degree murder if he is involved in a fatal DUI accident. This is a life sentence. This same legal principle applies in
There are cases where the suspect has been issued a Watson waiver admonishment.

Walker stated in court that Coleman was involved with a hit-and run in Laguna Beach in 2019.

Laguna Beach police Sergeant. Jim Cota reported the accident to the Laguna Beach police department the next day. He also submitted video footage. However, the parties eventually settled the matter and neither Jim Cota nor the referral of charges were made.

Prosecutors claimed that Coleman had a blood alcohol level of 0.22% at the time of the collision that resulted in the deaths of Henry Eduardo Saldana Mejia (27-year-old from Santa Ana) and Gabriela Andrade (29 years later, December 2020).

According to Andrade’s sister, the family had been looking at holiday lights in the vicinity that night. The victims’ daughters, aged 1, 3, and 5, were dressed in their Christmas pajamas.

Santa Ana police raised $8,000 for the children and purchased toys for them for Christmas. Anthony Bertagna. Bertagna said that they all had broken legs, with the oldest having broken arms.

According to Heather Rangel (a spokeswoman for Newport Beach Police Department), Coleman was driving southbound on Newport Coast Drive in a black Range Rover when the SUV collided against the Nissan Versa. Saldana was turning onto Pelican hills Road South at 7 :46 p.m.

Rangel claimed that the children were riding in the back of the sedan. She stated that Coleman may have run a red stop light.

Saldana-Mejia and his wife were pronounced dead at the scene.

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