Combining drugs and alcohol with driving can prove to be disastrous. A person driving under the influence can face more than just losing their license. They can face prison and a lifetime of guilt, especially when their decision to drink and drive claims a life.
37-year-old Jessicah Louise Cowan of Lake Hughes was convicted April 15 of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, and several other charges. She was sentenced this past Friday to 22-years-to-life in prison.
At the time of the accident that led to the charges, Cowan had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, which is three times the legal limit of .08. Inside her Lexus, police found two mini bottles of vodka and marijuana and a pipe. The accident, which occurred on June 23, 2012, claimed the life of a six-year-old girl named Osmara Meza. Meza’s sister and mother were also struck by Cowan and suffered severe brain injuries.
In addition to the second-degree murder charges and the charge of gross vehicular manslaughter, Cowan was also convicted of two counts of hit-and-run, two counts of DUI causing injury, and driving with a blood-alcohol count of .08 or higher.
Prosecutor Mark Birney said that Cowan struck the trio at Spurgeon and 17th Street and continued driving until a witness to the accident blocked her way forward.
Cash receipts in Cowan’s purse showed that she stopped at a liquor store and bought two small bottles of vodka after arriving at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and picking up her car. She stopped at a liquor store in Arcadia and spent a nearly identical amount, but there are no records as to what was purchased.
Cowan had no previous criminal record.
If you have been charged with DUI, you will need legal representation. Our attorneys specialize in the defense of DUI charges. Contact us today.