A Lake Hughes woman was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison, following a DUI crash that took the life of a 6-year-old girl in Santa Ana. The girl’s mother and sister were also left with serious injuries.
Eloisa Meza and her two daughters were walking to a nearby restaurant for breakfast when the accident occurred. According to police, Jessicah Cowan, 37, of Lake Hughes hit the trio, and then left the scene of the accident. A witness pursued the car and was able to block Cowan’s vehicle until police arrived. At the time of her arrest, prosecutors say she had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, and had two vodka bottles, marijuana and a pipe in her car.
Prosecutors presented Cowan’s credit card receipts at the trial, showing that she had purchased two drinks on a flight that landed at Bob Hope Airport, then stopped at two different liquor stores and purchased alcohol after leaving the airport. Cowan was convicted of second-degree murder, two counts each of DUI causing injury, driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08 and hit-and-run.
Cowan received a stiffer sentence despite having no prior criminal convictions. Her attorney had argued that while she was guilty of driving under the influence, she was not guilty of murder. He indicated that she had received a phone call immediately prior to the accident and was distracted when the accident occurred. He maintained that she was unaware that she had hit the family.
Los Angeles DUI lawyer
This case illustrates the seriousness of a drunk driving arrest and the consequences of conviction. California law is clear about driving while intoxicated. If you’re arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Los Angeles, DUI lawyer Robert Helfend is ready to take your case. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense and can bring together the legal and medical expertise you’ll need to defend yourself in court. Don’t wait, and don’t assume that a drunk driving arrest automatically means a drunk driving conviction.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County DUI case.
Photo Credit: 2Tales, via Flickr.com