A 24-year-old woman faces at least six years, four months in prison when sentenced later this month for driving drunk and killing a pedestrian in Westminster, then fleeing the scene.
Tonez Hunter Seja of Buena Park pleaded guilty July 2 to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury and also admitted to a sentencing-enhancing allegation of fleeing the scene of an accident.
She was scheduled to be sentenced Friday, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King said he wanted more information about an alcohol-related incident in 2009 when Seja was a juvenile.
Seja was driving north on Beach Boulevard about 1 a.m. April 24 when she struck 58-year-old Gerrel Bauer with her vehicle near Bishop Place, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.
Seja kept driving, but a witness called 911 and followed her. Police tracked down the suspect at the intersection of Beach and Westminster boulevards as her vehicle was idling at a red light, Cornwell said.
Seja’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit, Cornwell said.
Bauer was taken to an area hospital, where he died June 4, and charges against Seja were upgraded.
Seja made an open plea, meaning there was no guarantee on what punishment she faces. Cornwell said the minimum is six years and four months behind bars and the maximum is nine years in prison.
—City News Service
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