A 28-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in prison for a speeding death that killed a driver in Mission Viejo.

Afiff Kevin Doaifi was convicted Nov. 14 of second-degree murder in the March 25, 2017, death of 33-year-old Judith Noval.

Noval’s father, Joseph Noval, told Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King about his daughter’s passion for animals and service to others.

The former Fountain Valley police officer recalled how he bonded with the K-9 officers while working midnights and brought one of the puppies home.

“We had a dog, Holly, and they became inseparable,” Noval said, recalling how his daughter would race home from school to care for her puppy.

“And on the last day of Holly’s life that dog stayed alive long enough for Judy to come home and she died in her arms,” Noval said.

Judy Noval lettered in cross country and track and was a hard-working student, her father said. She worked as a veterinary technician and wanted to open her own animal care business before she died, her father said.

When she was 21 she went on a mission in Florida for 18 months and remained active in her church, her father said. She was learning sign language at the time of her death so she could better serve the hearing impaired.

After Doaifi’s conviction, the defendant’s father turned to the victim’s family and said, “It won’t bring back your daughter,” Noval said.

That drew apologies on Tuesday from Doaifi’s mother, Nancy Doaifi, and the defendant.

“I was completely unaware of that statement my father made and I’m sorry,” Doaifi said. “This is a horrible tragedy so I’m sorry about that statement.”

Nancy Doaifi said the attorneys involved with the case told her family not to reach out earlier and apologize to Noval’s family.

“We are very sorry for your loss,” Nancy Doaifi said as she implored King to show leniency to her son. “My heart breaks for your family.”

Nancy Doaifi said her son has matured a great deal since the collision.

“He’s a loving and caring man,” she said. “No violence, no alcohol, no crime, no drugs in his life. He doesn’t belong in the category of a murderer. He never intended to hurt anyone.”

Nancy Doaifi hugged the victim’s father and brother when she finished her statement to the judge.

A tearful Doaifi told the victim’s family, “From the bottom of my heart I am sorry … No parent should ever have to feel the pain you’re going through. She did not deserve this and I’ll never forgive myself for that night. I don’t expect forgiveness. If I could trace places with her I would. I am disgusted by my actions.”

Doaifi said he wanted to form a foundation in Noval’s name and use it to preach to young drivers about the dangers of speeding.

The defendant’s attorney, Ed Welbourn, argued for a more creative sentence that would include a year in jail and “thousands of hours of community service.”

He added that his client is “not a threat,” and that his driving privileges could be suspended for good, too.

Doaifi had been ticketed multiple times for speeding before the crash.

“In the last five years he hasn’t had a speeding ticket,” Welbourn said, noting his client has matured.

“Does he need to be punished? Yes, but to what extent?” Welbourn said.

King said, “There’s no question in my mind he’s shown genuine remorse,” and noted that the defendant has no prior criminal record. But the defendant was behind the wheel of a machine that was “two tons of steel,” the judge said.

“When we drive a vehicle, especially one that’s two tons of steel, we’re driving in a corridor of trust,” King said. “The victim in this case saw your headlights and the victim expected you to honor that corridor of trust, but instead you were traveling 100 mph and collided with her and she lost her life.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman said, “We’re much less concerned with the label (of murderer) than the behavior… No one envies anyone’s position here, but the only justice here is Mr. Doaifi be sentenced to 15 years to life.”

“The question in this trial is how many times did defendant have to be warned about his driving,” Feldman said in his opening statement of the trial. “Whatever it was, it wasn’t enough.”

The event-data recorder in the defendant’s Camaro showed he was going 99 mph just two-and-a-half seconds before he collided with Noval’s Hyundai at Alicia Parkway and Althea Avenue, Feldman said.

Doaifi was caught going 109 mph on the San Diego (5) Freeway in Mission Viejo in October 2014, Feldman said. The defendant fought the ticket and was convicted, the prosecutor said.

Feldman played a recording from a trial in which the defendant acknowledged the dangers of speeding and his judge asked what it would take for him to slow down. The defendant said his conviction was “a pretty big wakeup call,” according to Feldman.

In January 2016 he was caught driving 63 mph in a 45 mph zone and had to go to traffic school, Feldman said. At one point his license was suspended for having too many points on his record, the prosecutor said.

Doaifi’s Camaro had a “supercharged V-8 engine” with no catalytic converter and racing tires, Feldman said.

Witnesses said before the crash he was seen speeding on the 5 Freeway, Feldman added.

He slammed into Noval’s car as she was turning left onto Althea, Feldman said. Noval “didn’t die right away — she fought for a month” before she was pronounced dead, Feldman said.

Doaifi slammed on the brakes a second before the collision “when it was already too late,” Feldman said.

Welbourn told the jurors Doaifi, who grew up in Mission Viejo, had just turned 23 at the time of the crash. He still lives with his parents and was working for the family cleaning business and taking classes at Saddleback College, Welbourn said.

Doaifi and his girlfriend met two other friends that evening at the Irvine Spectrum for dinner and a movie, Welbourn said.

Before they got there, she confessed to her boyfriend for the first time that she was struggling with an eating disorder and hadn’t eaten in three days.

“He’s never been confronted with anything like this before,” Welbourn said.

The two did not eat dinner, and on the way home he kept at his girlfriend to grab something to eat until she finally agreed to have a peanut butter sandwich at his home with “special bread” his mother always has on hand, Welbourn said.

“He’s ecstatic,” Welbourn said. “In his mind he’s trying to save her. … He was speeding, yes. But there’s no argument in the car, no fighting. He was trying to get her home as quickly as possible, not trying to endanger anyone.”

Doaifi attempted to veer right to avoid the collision, but the Camaro — “his pride and joy that he got when he was 17 years old” — flipped over and landed upside down, Welbourn said.

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