A Riverside County resident was just sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter resulting from a DUI traffic collision early last year. Tenina Calhoun of Moreno Valley had been out with friends celebrating her birthday when she got behind the wheel of her SUV and, while speeding down the road, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. 5 occupants were ejected from the vehicle and three of them died.
Calhoun had been charged with three counts of second degree murder as a result of the drunken traffic accident and in a plea deal the prosecutor let her plead guilty gross vehicular manslaughter and a fixed sentence of seventeen years. Second degree murder carries a sentence of 15 years to life, which means that Calhoun would have had to serve at least fifteen years before she would become eligible for parole and could have served the rest of her life behind bars.
Second degree murder charges are normally only charged in DUI related cases in certain circumstances like when the defendant has been previously convicted of DUI and given the “Watson” advisement. This is the warning that the defendant could face murder charges if they are drunk and kill someone. Another such circumstance is if the actions of the defendant were so blatantly in disregard of human life the prosecutor might file murder charges based upon the defendant’s conduct in the single act.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, DUI causing injury, vehicular homicide, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or Watson murder, call me, Jeffrey S. Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.4criminaldefense.com or www.4drunkdrivingdefense.com