Christian Evangelista only sentenced to prison for four years for killing Tutam Le as he blew through stop sign while DUI on beer run
SAN DIEGO –05/03/2017 — A young man who drove drunk and caused a collision that killed a 19-year-old motorist in Mira Mesa last summer tearfully told a judge Tuesday that drinking and driving was “not worth it” before being sentenced to four years in state prison.
Christian Evangelista, 22, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to DUI with injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Defense attorney Doug Gilliland argued unsuccessfully for probation, telling Judge Michael Groch that Evangelista has extreme remorse for the crime that took the life of Tutam Le.
“I hate this case,” Gilliland said. “There’s nothing more tragic than young death.”
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar, arguing for a 10-year prison term, said Evangelista was not a bad guy but chose to drink and drive recklessly through a residential neighborhood, reaching speeds of 64 mph in a 25-mph zone just before broadsiding Le’s car.
On the way back from the store, Evangelista, driving eastbound on Zapata Avenue, ran a stop sign at Camino Ruiz and crashed broadside into Le’s car just before 1 a.m.
Witnesses testified during a previous hearing that Evangelista spent the night of Aug. 20 at his residence drinking with two friends, and when they ran out of alcohol, the group decided to go to a 7-Eleven store to buy more.
One of those friends, Henry Kim, said he asked Evangelista if he was OK to drive, and the defendant said yes.
On the way back from the store, Evangelista, driving eastbound on Zapata Avenue, ran a stop sign at Camino Ruiz and crashed broadside into Le’s car just before 1 a.m. She died on the way to the hospital. —MORE