Drunk driving illegal alien kills girl, 18, in parked carSubmitted by: pfwag
Date of Crime:
1997-09-12 Location of crime:
On September 12, 1997, Christina Hoffman, 18, was killed by drunk driving, illegal alien Salvadore Mejia, 21, an unlicensed driver from Mexico. Mejia had been drinking with buddies at a produce stand just south of Stockton before he got behind the wheel.
Witnesses reported seeing Mejia's truck weaving along Highway 99 just before it slammed into the rear of Christina Hoffman's Buick. The teen's car was disabled and sitting at the side of the road with its emergency lights flashing. Mejia allegedly had a blood alcohol level more than 3 times the state maximum when he lost control of his car and broadsided the Hoffman vehicle with Christina Hoffman and one passenger inside She used her cell phone to call a tow truck and her mother. Mrs Janice Hoffman. Who drove up moments after the crash and she watched in horror as her daughter, screaming in pain and trapped in the car, was cut from the vehicle. Hoffman's head hit the steering wheel in the impact and her brain was damaged. She died shortly thereafter at a hospital.
Over the advice of the presentencing report that recommended Mejia be sentenced to the maximum allowed by law, the district attorney entered into a plea bargain which would sentence Mejia to only 6 years in prison. He would be eligible for parole in 2 to 3 years. The Hoffmans collected numerous signatures and petitions, spoke to the media and spoke at the sentencing hearing. Judge Van Oss, the presiding judge, refused to honor the plea bargain.
In February Mejia reneged on the plea bargain and changed his plea to not guilty. His trial began on March 30. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.plus six months for the injury of the passenger. He will have to serve 50 percent of the sentence, less time served, or around 5 1/2 years.
Mejia will be deported after serving his sentence.
"The accident basically severed the family," recalled Carla Hoffman, Christina Hoffman's aunt.
After the accident, the teen's parents and siblings left California for Arizona. Marvin Hoffman, the girl's father, sued his father and brothers to dissolve the family's agricultural and trucking business. Family members left in the Manteca and Tracy area rarely speak to Christina Hoffman's immediate family, said Buzz Hoffman, her uncle.
MexicoPerpetrator was DUI or charged with DUI Perpetrator was previously arrested for a DUIDocumentation:
June/July 1998, Volume 4, Issue 3
Justice for Murder Victims
DUI\'s culture gap - Latinos in S.J. account for disproportionate amount of arrests, by Rick Brewer