SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman who was drunk when she crashed her vehicle near Mission Valley, killing a fellow Marine, was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail and placed on five years probation.
Ashley Louise Maya, 22, pleaded guilty Aug. 14 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the Feb. 12 death of her best friend, 24-year-old Cpl. Pedro Conceicao. Maya also admitted to a charge of DUI causing serious bodily injury.
Judge Eugenia Eyherabide suspended a prison sentence of seven years and eight months, which could be imposed if Maya violates the terms of her probation She was handcuffed and taken away.
"She grew up very fast," defense attorney Rafael Acosta Jr. told the judge. "She's going to live with this for the rest of her life."
Maya, recently discharged from the Marine Corps, apologized for Conceicao's death, Acosta said.
The wreck occurred after a night of drinking and dancing in the Gaslamp Quarter. Maya and Conceicao were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma at the time.
"All the parties knew one another, they were all friends, and they knew the history of their drinking on that particular night and they chose to get in the car and make an effort to get home," prosecutor Jim Waters said last month.
According to testimony, Conceicao took Maya's car keys as they left a San Diego nightclub, but she punched him three times and got the keys back. In addition to Conceicao, two other passengers were in Maya's 2007 Chevrolet HHR.
Front-seat passenger Bryan Salcido said he twice yelled at Maya to slow down. He testified that Maya was driving about 90 mph when she lost control on a curve leading to eastbound Interstate 8. As the HHR overturned, back-seat passengers Conceicao and Vasty Castillo were thrown out. Neither was wearing a seat belt.
Conceicao died at the scene. Castillo suffered a broken back and other serious injuries. Salcido was not seriously injured. Maya was taken to a hospital and booked into jail two days after the wreck.
Waters said Maya's blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent after the deadly crash.