A 25-year-old Costa Mesa man was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder for triggering an Irvine crash that killed a woman and her 2-year-old granddaughter.

Jurors took about 90 minutes to reach verdicts in the retrial of Alec Scott Abraham for the June 10, 2015, crash that killed 54-year-old Katherine Hampton of Lake Forest and Kaydence Hampton. The toddler’s mother, Megan, suffered a broken jaw, and Kaydence’s brother, Nathaniel, who was 7 at the time, suffered a broken collarbone.

Before the verdicts were read, Abraham asked a City News Service reporter to interview him, claiming he was innocent. Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham repeatedly admonished Abraham to cease interrupting the proceedings.

After he was convicted, Abraham told the judge he created a website that would reveal a “hidden agenda” and “cover-ups” in the case.

“How I got set up for a crime I didn’t do is beyond me,” Abraham said.

When Pham ordered the defendant taken into custody immediately, he tearfully begged to see “my little brother one more time.”

Abraham was speeding when he T-boned the car Katherine Hampton was driving, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky.

“The defendant had been warned about his driving,” the prosecutor said in her opening statement, telling jurors that a state parks police officer pulled Abraham over on Jan. 3, 2015, for speeding on Pacific Coast Highway.

Abraham’s co-workers at a Toyota dealership in Huntington Beach also warned him about “driving recklessly and fast” at work and across the street at a Starbucks store, Bokosky said.

“All of them will tell you he drove fast and recklessly,” she said, telling jurors that Abraham would record videos of his speeding and send them to service technicians and fellow sales representatives.

In November 2015, Abraham took a selfie video in a Ford Mustang and sent it via text to a group of co-workers, the prosecutor said. The video, which jurors viewed last Thursday, “shows the defendant maxing out the Mustang” as he got it up to 140 mph, Bokosky said.

“These employees told him to stop driving like an idiot” on a text chain, with one saying they forwarded the video to the California Highway Patrol, Bokosky said.

Abraham was driving a Mustang downhill on Alton Parkway when he swerved into a left-turn lane around idling traffic at a red light and slammed into Katherine Hampton’s Chevrolet Cruze at Barranca Parkway, Bokosky said.

“All of the other vehicles had time to stop… except for the defendant,” she said.

Abraham got out of the Mustang after the crash and checked on the victims before leaving the scene, Bokosky said. A witness said she saw Abraham “put his hands on his head and walked away,” the prosecutor said.

Another motorist at the scene of the crash told investigators that Abraham asked to borrow his phone and then fled, Bokosky said.

An Event Data Recorder in the Mustang showed it was traveling at least 75 mph when it slammed into the car, she said.

“The EDR showed he (Abraham) was accelerating at 100%. That means he had his foot to the floor at the moment of impact,” Bokosky said.

Abraham called his father to pick him up, and was arrested a day later in Costa Mesa, Bokosky said.

Abraham shook his head at times during the opening statement delivered by his attorney, Eric Mayeda Renslo, who claimed there was no evidence that traffic on Barranca had a green light.

He said the intersection is confusing and there was construction in the area, so Abraham tried to correct himself and get back in the right lane after going around traffic in the left-turn pocket.

“It’s very weird the way it was designed,” Renslo said.

Abraham was helping his parents move and was “unfamiliar” with the area, the defense attorney said.

“He was confused and all of a sudden, he sees these headlights and thinks, `Oh, crap,”’ Renslo said.”That’s basically what this is — it’s a traffic accident.”

Abraham was trying to get help for the victims at the scene and grew “afraid” and left, but had intended to turn himself in, according to his attorney.

He said Abraham’s co-workers are “disgruntled employees” and that his client had no criminal record.

“He doesn’t even have any minor accidents or collisions,” Renslo said. “This went from having no record at all to murder for a traffic accident.”

Jurors in Abraham’s first trial last April indicated they would convict Abraham of second-degree murder, but one member did an about-face at the last moment, prompting a judge to declare a mistrial.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.