EL CAJON (CNS) - A woman who drove drunk with her headlights off in Lakeside, killing a grandmother and seriously injuring the victim's husband, was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years and eight months in prison.
"You might as well (have) been driving a gun," Judge Daniel Goldstein said in sentencing Katie McGrosso, 22, who pleaded guilty in May to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.
After her arrest, McGrosso was charged with second-degree murder in the death last Sept. 25 of Lorraine Kennedy of Brenham, Texas, who had traveled to San Diego with her husband, David Sandel, to celebrate her granddaughter's 4th birthday.
McGrosso could have faced life in prison if convicted.
Lorraine Kennedy's son, Travis Kennedy, said Tuesday her family agreed to accept the defendant's plea to a lesser charge to shine a light on his mother's life. He said his mother would have forgiven the defendant, but he was not ready to do that. Kennedy described his mother as "the brightest light in any room. She was the true definition of an angel on earth."
He urged McGrosso to talk to others about the dangers of drinking and driving. Travis Kennedy had testified at a preliminary hearing in February that he, his girlfriend, his mother, stepfather and uncle had just left a Mexican restaurant and were headed to their cars when the accident happened.
Travis Kennedy said he saw a car stopped in the street and ran to his 55-year-old mother, who was lying in front of it.
Sandel testified that he suffered a lacerated liver, four broken ribs, leg and head injuries and a torn shoulder.
At McGrosso's arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told a judge that the defendant - an auto mechanic - went to a restaurant after work and had a vodka and a shot of Fireball whisky, followed by four shots of sake at a sushi bar.
Bright said the defendant then drove to Lakeside. She was traveling "at a significant speed" in the 12200 block of Woodside Avenue with her lights off when she struck the Texas residents as they crossed the street behind Travis Kennedy and his girlfriend.
Lorraine Kennedy ended up on McGrosso's windshield, and Sandel was thrown more than 100 feet.
McGrosso also suffered major injuries when her Toyota Yaris struck the victims. At the hospital, McGrosso's blood-alcohol level was measured at .12 percent, Bright said. McGrosso admitted that she had a prior DUI when she was 17 and had attended six months of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, according to the prosecutor.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.