An intoxicated driver who struck a homeless man and continued driving for more than a mile, though his body had gone through her windshield and ended up on her front seat, was convicted Friday of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.
Esteysi “Stacy” Sanchez of Oceanside faces 15 years to life in prison when she is sentenced May 31 in the death of 69-year-old Jack Ray Tenhulzen.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Bruce told the jury that Sanchez displayed a conscious disregard for human life when she drove drunk and ran over Tenhulzen on a sidewalk on Mission Road near the state Route 76 bridge the morning of June 27, 2016.
The victim went through the windshield and into the passenger seat of her car. The bottom of his leg — which was severed in the accident — was found at the back of the car near the rear window.
Tenhulzen was hit so hard that he was ripped out of his pants and shoes, authorities said.
After a night of drinking, Sanchez left a hotel room the next morning and was told by a male friend that she was too drunk to drive, Bruce told the jury.
Defense attorney Herb Weston argued that Sanchez was tired and fell asleep behind the wheel and rode up on the sidewalk, striking Tenhulzen. He said Sanchez “freaked out” when she saw the victim’s body in her car and kept driving, finally stopping a block from her home.
Sanchez, 31, still had shards of glass in her hair when she was taken into custody. Her blood-alcohol content was measured at between .18 and .19 percent — more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent — two hours after the collision, Bruce said.
–City News Service