A man who rear-ended a pregnant woman’s car in Ramona two years ago while driving drunk, killing the woman and her unborn child, was sentenced Monday to 34 years to life in state prison.
Andrew Milonis, 46, was convicted in July of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run for the Mother’s Day 2017 crash that killed 29-year-old Jessica Foderingham and her unborn daughter, who she and her husband had planned to name Ayanna.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans read a letter from the victim’s husband, Christian Foderingham, who was driving ahead of his wife when he saw the crash in his rear-view mirror, pulled over and tried to pull her out of the wreckage. Her two young sons from a previous relationship were in the car with their stepfather, and saw the aftermath.
“I still hear their voices in my dreams, yelling, `Daddy, save Mommy,’ and `Mommy, get up,”‘ he wrote.
Foderingham was eight months pregnant when her Dodge Dart was hit, sending it careening into a tree in the center median on San Vicente Road about 6:45 p.m. May 14, 2017.
Evans said Milonis’ blood-alcohol content was nearly quadruple the legal limit when his SUV slammed into the back of Foderingham’s car. Milonis had been drinking throughout the day, downing at least seven drinks at a local bar before he got behind the wheel of his GMC Yukon, the prosecutor said.
Foderingham’s mother, sister and one of her young sons also spoke at Milonis’ sentencing hearing, and during their victim impact statements, Milonis made a series of quiet comments, including saying “It wasn’t me,” multiple times.
At trial, Milonis’ defense was that someone else caused the fatal crash.
Foderingham’s mother, Regina Townsel, called Milonis’ denial of what happened “disgusting.”
Nonetheless, Townsel said she felt “joy, relief and satisfaction that he will never be able to get out and hurt anyone at all.”
Four jurors who convicted Milonis attended Monday morning’s sentencing.
One of the jurors, Anne Nowlin, said Milonis made similar comments during the trial.
“We were hoping to see that he’d show some remorse today and that didn’t happen,” she said after the hearing.
Nowlin said she and the other jurors were “very gratified that he did not get off with a lesser sentence.”
Evans said a bartender recommended that Milonis arrange a Lyft ride to get home, but he ignored the advice. Milonis struck a tree and multiple telephone poles before crashing into Foderingham’s car, Evans said.
After the crash, Milonis continued driving to a nearby hotel, where employees called a Lyft driver for him. When the Lyft driver arrived and asked Milonis where he wanted to go, the defendant told the driver something to the effect of, “Anywhere I can get a drink,” according to Evans.
He was driven to a bar on Main Street, where sheriff’s deputies arrested him shortly after he arrived. When tested, he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20, but Evans said it was above 0.30 at the time of the crash — well above the 0.08 legal limit.
The prosecutor told jurors the impact of the crash left a partial imprint from Milonis’ license plate on the back of Foderingham’s car, and there was no evidence of mechanical issues on either vehicle that might have contributed to the crash.
Six months earlier, Milonis has been arrested on suspicion of DUI for driving drunk and hitting a neighbor’s fence before going home, according to Evans, who said he suffered a minor head injury in that crash and had a 0.28 blood alcohol content at the time.
Updated at 11:55 a.m. Aug. 26, 2019
–City News Service