RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A whole lot of Alta Loma Excessive Faculty college students crowded into the health club’s bleachers, laughing and speaking throughout a midmorning break from class.
“What you’re about to see is a legal sentencing based mostly on an precise DUI case that occurred in San Bernardino County,” senior Delaney Townsend, 17, solemnly stated over the general public tackle system. “The 911 calls and crime scene pictures are actual.”
The health club went darkish and two screens lit up, displaying pictures and video clips of the aftermath of a brutal visitors accident. The sounds of a weeping lady pleading with the police for assist have been intercut with photographs of a pink sedan, virtually utterly demolished, its inside soaked in its passengers’ blood.
When the lights got here again up, tons of of highschool college students have been virtually silent. The juniors and seniors had been attending sober promenade occasions all week, however once they filed into the health club Wednesday, that they had no concept what the meeting would entail.
On a dais within the middle of the health club, San Bernardino Superior Courtroom Decide Kyle Brodie turned to a gaggle of scholars seated in three rows of folding chairs to his left.
“All events are current,” Brodie stated. “Has the jury returned a verdict on this case?”
“Sure, your honor, we now have,” stated Carli Ramirez, 17, a senior portraying the foreman of the jury.
The defendant “Rodriguez,” portrayed by junior Dante Garcia, 17, was discovered responsible of driving with a blood alcohol content material of .08 % or higher, inflicting damage in consequence. He was additionally discovered responsible of inflicting nice bodily damage of two victims.
San Bernardino County Deputy District Lawyer Don Pezza, noting that Rodriguez has beforehand been convicted of drug and alcohol offenses, requested Brodie to impose the utmost penalty.
“I suffered a damaged pelvis, a punctured kidney and scars on my backside from glass shards,” junior Andrea Ruiz, sixteen, stated whereas portraying one of many victims. “I couldn’t cease screaming. I missed plenty of faculty. Once I did return to high school, I had to make use of a walker and a cane. … Once I become old, I’ll have arthritis in my pelvis and I may need issues throughout childbirth, all as a result of a 21-yr-previous made a silly mistake of consuming and driving on his birthday.”
However San Bernardino County Public Defender Nereyda Higuera countered: “When Mr. Rodriguez determined to have fun his birthday, he by no means meant to harm anybody,”
Garcia, as Rodriguez, rose from his seat and stated: “I’m sorry this occurred, your honor. It was an accident.”
Brodie was unswayed and sentenced Rodriguez to eight years in state jail, revoked Rodriguez’s driver’s license and ordered him to pay $sixty six,000 in restitution to his victims.
That wasn’t all. If, after he’s launched from jail, Rodriguez drives drunk once more, and this time kills somebody, he’ll be charged with homicide.
“That’s not an idle menace,” Brodie warned Rodriguez. “I’ve seen…