She told the judge she didn’t commit murder — the judge told her YES YOU DID!
Admitting responsibility for the death of a Clovis family man, 27-year-old Perla Ibeth Vazquez told a packed courtroom Tuesday that she wanted to be held accountable for her actions, but insisted: “I am not a murderer.”
Her plea didn’t sway Judge Hilary Chittick.
“This was a murder,” Chittick said bluntly in Fresno County Superior Court before sentencing Vazquez to 15 years to life in prison for getting drunk and causing a crash on Highway 168 in Fresno that killed 54-year-old Frank Winslow in October 2011.
Chittick said a jury was correct last month when it found Vazquez guilty of second-degree murder, felony hit and run, and driving on a suspended license when she caused the fatal crash.
Chittick noted that Vazquez had two drunken-driving convictions before she killed Winslow a few miles from his home.
In August 2010, just 11 days after the second conviction, Vazquez was caught driving 120 mph on Highway 168 and was arrested by the California Highway Patrol. Though her breath smelled of alcohol, her speech was slurred and she did poorly on a sobriety test, she was never charged in that case.
Chittick scolded Vazquez for ignoring court orders to not drink and drive, but also blamed the criminal justice system: “I regret the court did not do a better job of dealing with her prior offenses.”
Vazquez’s sentence brought an emotional end to a case in which Winslow’s family and friends sat on one side of the courtroom pleading for justice, while Vazquez’s family and friends pleaded for mercy.
During the two-hour hearing, Winslow was described as a family man whose daily routine including checking on his elderly parents before he went to work as a truck driver. Nancy Winslow tearfully described her last telephone conversation with her husband of 28 years: Frank Winslow said he would be home by 3 a.m. “I love you,” he said, before hanging up.
As she spoke, Vazquez shed tears.
Nancy Winslow recalled waking up suddenly at 3:15 a.m and her husband was not by her side. It wasn’t until 6 a.m. that she learned of his death. “At that moment I was sentenced to a lifetime of grief,” she said.
Nancy Winslow said she had to sell the family home because it reminded her of Frank. She and the couple’s two daughters ….MORE
DUI killer had been racking up DUI arrests for years
From Fresno Bee
A Clovis woman was ordered to stand trial Thursday on murder and other charges for an alleged drunken driving accident last October that caused the death of a man who was run off of Highway 168 as he drove home from work.
Perla Ibeth Vazquez faces four charges related to the Oct. 21 death of Frank Winslow. The others are gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, as well as a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal collision and driving on a suspended license.
The 25-year-old has two previous drunken driving convictions — one in Tulare County in 2006 and another in Fresno County in 2010. At the time of the accident last October, she also had a pending drunken driving charge from July in which she hit two parked cars near Herndon and Maple avenues in northeast Fresno. Those charges — including DUI and hit and run — are also part of the current case.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Gary Orozco ordered her to stand trial on nine charges in all. Her next court date is Sept. 4.
Prosecutor Steven Wright said Vazquez…..MORE