Killer Drove onto the Sidewalk

At twice the allowed blood-alcohol level, Ms. Stearns was a threat to life and property.

Dana Point –  Seems like all the recent cases of negligence through the DA’s office have  female perps who are either drunk or drugged at the time of impact.

This one, going back to 2007, involves Michelle Stearns, 30, who like Miller (below) was drunk when she lost control of her BMW and drove unto the sidewalk, took out a power pole, signal control box, and Jose Barranco-Patino. Patino was riding home from work on the sidewalk along Del Obispo when he was killed.

Last week Stearns offered an open guilty plea to gross vehicular manslaughter, which means she goes straight to sentencing with no stipulation from the DA or judge as to what here sentence will be.

She is scheduled to appear in court June 15 and OCBC will be there.

Motor Menace Faces 10 Years in Stir

Newport Beach – The arraignment of Danae Marie Miller has been continued until April 15 at Harbor Justice Center in Dept. 1.

Miller, 22 years old from Newport Coast, was charged March 10 with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated. She killed accomplished triathlete, Amine Britel, rear-ending him as she drove in the bike lane, while texting on her cell phone.

Twelfth time's the charm. Will she finally be off OC streets for a few years now that she's killed someone?

While legally innocent until proven guilty, Miller already has 11 moving violations on her record. Pretty amazing for a 22 year old. Why her parents hadn’t taken her car away from her is a reasonable question at this point– 11 citations is sort of a red flag, wouldn’t you say? The word “enabler” come to mind.

Miller was drinking at her place of work, Zinc Cafe, before she decided to get behind the wheel to engage her social media. Clearly the previous fist full of tickets taught her nothing. Now, as David Whiting noted in the OC Register, life as she knows it is over. Which puts her one up on Mr. Britel whose life is simply, over.

Miller’s out on bail now, $100,000 worth. Her charges were filed the day before another cyclist killer, Patricia Izquieta, was sent away for 3 years, handcuffed and pleading to her father, for the hit and run death of Donald Murphy in December, ’09.

The Orange County DA’s pursuit of manslaughter convictions in these cases put us one step closer to justice in a county where motorists who killed cyclists were often let off with a warning and victims were blamed for being “in the roadway.” What does a 3 year conviction, with half time off for good behavior, say about the value of cyclist’s life in Orange County? Do we respect the rights and lives of the thousands of OC cyclists when we allow spoiled 20-somethings to collect 11 citations and still motor around our roads?

Justice for the death of a cyclist. You be the judge.

In December, 2009, Patricia Izquieta drove her Saturn SUV northbound on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach in the far right-hand lane. The victim, Donald Murphy, was riding his bicycle along the curb behind two of his friends. Izquieta drifted towards the curb and hit Murphy from behind. She then fled the scene, dragging Murphy’s bicycle beneath her car. Police found her, impaired by three prescription drugs, sitting in a Coco’s Bakery parking lot.

Izquieta was to 3 years in state prison. Representatives from OCBC were there.

Read the OC District Attorney’s press release is here.