A DUI murder charge in California normally requires that a specific set of circumstances be met before a person can be convicted of the charge. Before a DUI murder charge is even made, a person typically must have a previous DUI on their record and either have attended DUI school or been specifically warned that a future DUI that results in the death of another person may result in a murder charge. The penalties for a DUI murder conviction are typically 15 years to life in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additional fatalities and injured persons can add even more time to the minimum prison sentence. CBS 8 reports on the sentence handed down for a woman who hit a homeless man and then drove with him stuck in her windshield.
On the morning of June 27th, 2016, 31-year-old Esteysi “Stacy” Sanchez left a hotel room after a night of drinking. A male friend that was with her told her that she was too drunk to drive. Sanchez got behind the wheel anyway.
While driving along Mission Road near the State Route 76 bridge, Sanchez went onto the sidewalk and struck Jack Ray Tenhulzen, a 69-year-old homeless man. With Tenhulzen stuck in her windshield, Sanchez continued driving, despite the fact that Tenhulzen’s severed leg was in the back of her car.
Tenhulzen ultimately died, but Sanchez only stopped about a mile from her home after witnesses chased her down. She still had shards of glass in her hair when she was taken into custody. When her blood-alcohol content was measured nearly two hours after the crash, it was between .18 and .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
In April, Sanchez was convicted of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, and hit-and-run.
On Wednesday, August 15th, Sanchez was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison. At one point, the sentencing hearing had to be interrupted because Sanchez had begun sobbing uncontrollably.