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A jury declared Debbie Pacheco Sumi guilty of three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, today, after a two week trial.

Three persons were killed on the side of highway 78 two years ago, in August 2010, when a Jeep ran into the back of a Nissan parked on the shoulder of the road.

Debbie Pacheco Sumi was thrown clear of the wreck, and her back was reportedly broken in two places, but she survived to stand trial. Through her public defender, Sumi denied being the driver at the time of the collision. The other person in the Jeep, her boyfriend Larry Alvarez, 34, did not survive the crash.

The two other persons killed, Susana Orozco and Erica Oliva, both 23, were standing near the black Nissan Altima when it was struck. A survivor testified that the Nissan pulled over onto the side of the road because one of the women felt sick.

Sumi’s blood alcohol level was tested at hospital that night and the result was .348, an unusually high level which experts said could be considered lethal. Prosecutor Jodi Breton said the high BAL is one of the reasons she will request that Sumi be sentenced to the maximum, 14 years. There is no minimum sentence, and theoretically a judge could sentence Sumi to time already served; the defendant has been held in lieu of $5 million bail since she was charged. Sentencing is set for January 8, 2013 in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.

Defendant Sumi wept at the defense table today, as the verdicts were read. Her family sat quietly, behind her, in the courtroom. The families of the persons who were killed in the wreck were also in court, and they also cried. “I can’t bring their loved ones back, but I can at least bring them justice,” said prosecutor Jodi Breton, who commented later.

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Comments

FatCatSegat Oct. 22, 2012 @ 4:16 p.m.

So many wasted lives. Intent is a legalese word that in this case is moot. Sure, she was too inebriated to make a wise decision. Unfortunately that means nothing when innocent lives are taken and thrown away like discarded rags. Defendant Sumi has committed the most horrible life changing decision which led to many lives being affected and traumatized. I wish I could find my soap box but I'm only filled with sorrow knowing what lies in store for all affected by this senseless tragedy. Look up! Try to find some sense in this.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 22, 2012 @ 4:23 p.m.

Three people killed. Over an idiot that drank large quantities of alcohol. 14 years is a GIFT. Less than 5 years for each person killed. I wonder if she will do half time or 85% of the 14 years, don't know, but the entire 14 years is too lenient when 3 people are dead as result of irresponsible drug use. I hope the relatives of the ones who died can get over this in time....you never really get over it but hopefully there will be some closure knowing the dirtbag is going to the can of a long time.

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