Woman Sentenced to Prison in DUI Crash That Killed Cyclist

By City News Service

A 21-year-old Los Angeles woman who got behind the wheel while intoxicated, killing a cyclist and injuring two others in Boyle Heights, was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in state prison.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba imposed the 44-month term on Wendy Stephanie Villegas, who pleaded no contest March 20 to one count each of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident.

Villegas was driving home in the early morning hours of Sept. 14, 2013, when she struck a group of bicyclists and then fled the scene, according to Deputy District Attorney Nick Swertlow.

Luis “Andy” Garcia, who had moved to the Los Angeles area from Texas, was fatally injured. The 22-year-old cyclist was dragged for several hundred feet by a car that was traveling behind Villegas’ vehicle, the prosecutor said.

Garcia’s family members and friends packed the courtroom. Some said they did not believe Villegas had shown remorse for her actions.

“Nothing’s going to bring Andy back,” said Norma Garcia, who said her nephew was a “good kid” who deserved better than being run over and left to die.

“I wish her whatever she has coming,” she said of Villegas.

Villegas — who was given credit for one day she has already spent in jail — was handcuffed and led back into a courtroom lockup facility at the end of the hearing to begin serving her sentence

The judge told Villegas that “it may seem obvious,” but warned her nevertheless that she could be charged with murder if ever she drinks and drives again and kills someone — a count that can carry a minimum 15-year-to-life state prison term.


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April 24, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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