June 25, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Woman Crashes Into Car While Texting On 405 Freeway In Westminster

Courtesy Image
(Thinkstock)

A San Diego woman who was texting and chatting on her cell phone before slamming her Toyota Prius into the back of an idling car on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Westminster, killing the 23-year-old driver, was convicted today of gross vehicular manslaughter.

Jorene Ypanto Nicolas, 32, sobbed when the jury’s verdict was read and the judge ordered her to be taken into custody. The conviction came on Nicolas’ second trial. A separate jury last year could not reach a unanimous decision, leading to a mistrial.

Prosecutors said Nicolas sent 13 text messages in the 15 minutes before the April 27, 2011, crash and answered a phone call just before the impact.

But Nicolas’ attorney told the Orange County Superior Court jury that investigators misinterpreted data from the crash and came to the wrong conclusion about who caused it.

An Event Data Recorder — known informally as a “black box” — in Nicolas’ 2006 Prius indicated she was driving 85 mph at the time of the 10:58 a.m. collision that killed Deanna Mauer, a star softball player, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker.

From 10:42 a.m. until 10:56 a.m., there’s a record of the defendant sending 13 text messages, the prosecutor said. At 10:57 a.m., records indicate she took a call, according to Walker.

“She’s doing this actively, not paying attention, driving 20 miles per hour over the limit,” Walker said, telling jurors that northbound traffic ahead had come to a halt due to another collision.

Another motorist, who was stopped in traffic in his Porsche, looked up and noticed Mauer’s Hyundai behind him, also idling, for about 30 seconds, Walker said. He recognized the driver because he saw her earlier in traffic and thought she was “cute,” the prosecutor said.

“Then he heard an explosion,” Walker said. “Then he felt an impact to his vehicle that pinged him like a pinball.”

Jack Jeffries told investigators that Nicolas did not try to help Mauer and instead hobbled back to her car to retrieve her phone and make calls, Walker said.

Nicolas’ attorney, Joe Dane, questioned the accuracy of the computer data from the car and suggested Mauer may have caused the crash.

Nicolas previously claimed that Mauer was responsible for the crash.

“She veered into my lane, so I avoided her and I hit the center divider,” Nicolas told reporters last year after her first trial ended with a deadlocked jury. “I tried to avoid her and her car spun out and hit the center divider.”

A mistrial was declared in April 2014 when a jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt on the charge of gross negligent vehicular manslaughter.

In March, the defendant told a judge she wanted to accept a plea bargain offer, but she backed out and hired Dane. Under the proposed deal from the judge, she would have faced a year in jail, 500 hours of community service and five years of probation.

She could face up to six years in prison for her conviction. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 4.

Related Posts

(Video) The World Premiere of MAXXXINE at the TCL Chinese Theater

June 25, 2024

June 25, 2024

Director Ti West and Cast: Mia Goth, Kevin Bacon, Giancarlo Esposito. @Kevin Bacon @A24 @centurycitywestwoodnews The World Premiere of MAXXXINE...

Los Angeles Police Department Releases Statement About the Aftermath of Violence in Pico Robertson

June 25, 2024

June 25, 2024

Two Battery Reports Filed and One Arrest Made; Additional Patrols Planned The Los Angeles Police Department intervened in a protest...

LAPD Seeks Public’s Help in E-Line Train Platform Shooting in West Adams

June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024

Victim Identified as 38-Year-Old Juan Garcia, Suspect Fled with Group LAPD Southwest Area officers responded to a report of a...

Velvet Cannabis to Hold Community Meeting for New Store on Wilshire Blvd

June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024

Public Invited to Discuss Plans and Ask Questions in Zoom Meeting As part of its licensing process, Velvet Cannabis, located...

Violence Erupts at Protest Outside Adas Torah Synagogue in Pico Robertson

June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024

Seven Reporters Attacked, Protesters Bear Sprayed, Chaos in West LA Violence broke out at a protest at the Adas Torah...

Fantastic Fireworks Celebrations in Los Angeles for July 4th

June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024

Find the Best 4th of July Displays and Parades on This List The Culver City Downtown Business Association has stepped...

Two Killed, Two Injured in Early Morning Crash Near Los Angeles International Airport

June 24, 2024

June 24, 2024

Vehicle Overturns After Flying Off 105 Freeway Ramp in El Segundo Two people were killed and two others injured in...

Teen Fatally Stabbed at First Annual Palms Community Weekend Festival on Saturday

June 23, 2024

June 23, 2024

LAPD Investigates Tragic Incident at Event Organized by LAPD Pacific Area Boosters By Dolores Quintana Tragedy struck at the first...

UCLA Film Archive Celebrates Iranian Cinema’s Resilience and Creativity

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Explore New Voices at the Film Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater. The UCLA Film & Television Archive continues its dedication to...

(Video) Sport Fishing and Whale Watching on the Pacific Offered by MDR Sportfishing

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Located Out of Marina del Rey, More Information Can Be Found at mdrsf.com @centurycitywestwoodnews Operating out of Marina del Rey,...

LA County Issues Ocean Water Use Warning for Several Beaches on the First Day of Summer

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Elevated Bacterial Levels Prompt Health Advisory for Popular Coastal Spots Sadly, on the first day of Summer, the Los Angeles...

California Supreme Court Blocks Tax Measure from November Ballot

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Ruling Halts Effort to Overturn Measure ULA In a ruling issued on Thursday, the California Supreme Court blocked the Taxpayer...

(Video) Director Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin Q&A On Their New Film The Exorcism

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

It stars Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington, and David Hyde-Peirce. @centurycitywestwoodnews Director Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin Q&A On Their...

Westfield Century City Announces First Annual Foodie Week Starting Today

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Deals and Prix-Fixe Menus Available From June 20th to June 27th Westfield Century City, a premier outdoor shopping destination in...

Los Angeles Public Health Warns of Surge in Mpox Cases Reported in Los Angeles County

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Public Health Officials Urge Testing, Prevention, and Vaccination Amid Recent Spike The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is...