A San Diego woman was sentenced to 48 hours in jail for hitting and killing a nanny pushing a baby through a crosswalk in February.
Christine Padilla gave birth to a baby just two days before the accident and was sleep deprived. Monserrat Mendez was thrown 30 feet into the air after she was hit, and the 14-month-old child and stroller were dragged beneath the SUV. The toddler suffered a skull fracture, broken bones, and broken ribs and is still recovering.
The 35-year-old attorney pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter and two traffic infractions. She admitted to the police that she was sleep deprived when she was driving.
Deputy City Attorney Nicole Kukas said that not sleeping for 24 hours is almost the same as driving drunk or high on drugs.
Judge Charles Gill originally planned to give Padilla three years of probation and 180 days of house arrest. However, after he listened to the victims’ family in court talk about how much the accident impacted their lives, he decided to add some jail time to her sentence.
Mendez’s 16-year-old daughter Amy Barragan said that her mother was her best friend and that she and her brother have endured a lot of agony.
“She didn’t even get to see my brother and I graduate from high school, and that was her dream,” Barragan said.
Mendez’s brother, Heliodoro Mendez, was outraged that Padilla got such a light sentence and suggested that she had the money to pay her way out of prison.
“With all the money Padilla has, she won’t be able to buy God or Divine justice,” he said.
Padilla expressed her regret in court by saying, “I have no words to express the depth of my remorse. If I could lessen your pain, I would.”
Mendez’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Padilla because they believe she was negligent.
Do you think Padilla deserves a harsher sentence?
[Image via New York Daily News]