A Tustin High School graduate plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the killing of his best friend and to injuring four other passengers in a drunken driving crash, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.
The Tustin teenager lost control of his brother’s 1996 Subaru Legacy while speeding and under the influence of alcohol in the early hours of Nov. 6, 2011, on Santiago Canyon Road near Irvine Lake.
The car swerved over the double yellow lines, crossed onto the other side of the street, and then leaving the roadway slammed into a tree. About an hour after the crash, the defendant had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.
The driver’s best friend, 18 year-old Jorge Cisneros, fellow Tustin high graduate who was the front-seat passenger, was trapped between the car and the tree. He was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he later died.
Two passengers were ejected from the Subaru; the driver did not suffer serious injuries, Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire said.
The defendant plead guilty to a court offer of one count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing bodily injury to more than one victim while driving under the influence and personally inflicting great bodily injury on two additional people. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison at his Feb. 21 sentencing by Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett.
If you face a criminal charge in Orange County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your charges and/or reducing your sentence.