A 25-year-old Foothill Ranch woman pleaded guilty Friday to a deadly crash in Lake Forest in a plea deal that will net her 15 years behind bars, a prosecutor said.
Jacie Paulette Cornish is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 25. She was initially charged with second-degree murder, but that charge will be dismissed in favor of voluntary manslaughter, and driving drunk causing injury with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.
Cornish has agreed to waive some credits in jail awaiting trial in a deal that will mean she will spend 15 years behind bars, Senior Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky said. A second-degree murder conviction would have meant a 15-years-to-life sentence, so she will avoid having to seek parole.
Cornish was facing a murder charge because she was convicted of drunk driving in August 2015, before the deadly crash in Lake Forest on Oct. 1, 2017, that killed 40-year-old Jose Barrazasoto.
The crash occurred about 2:15 a.m. on eastbound Alton Parkway, between the 241 Toll Road and Towne Centre Drive. The victim’s wife escaped serious injury.
Cornish was speeding in a 40 mph zone when her Hyundai sedan slammed into the back of the victim’s Ford pickup truck, Bokosky said. The car’s “black box” recorded the speed at 109 mph at the point of impact, the prosecutor said.
Cornish’s blood-alcohol level was .17, more than double the legal limit, at the time of the crash, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. She also allegedly had traces of marijuana in her system.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: