Family Protests Plea Deal In Manslaughter Case

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A local family says a drunken driver is getting off easy thanks to a plea deal after he allegedly killed their father.

After accepting a plea deal, a judge sentenced Mark Skillingberg, 32, Friday morning to one year in jail, five years probation and restitution payments for the death of Gebregziabher Gabremadhin. The 72-year-old father and grandfather was killed by Skillingberg on Oct. 27, 2009 in a drunken driving accident.

Court records say Gabremadhin was making an illegal U-turn when his car was T-boned by Skillingberg. His blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Skillingberg was originally charged with Felony Vehicular Manslaughter with gross negligence. However, a plea deal dropped the enhanced charge of gross negligence, eliminating the possibility of prison time for Skillingberg. The plea deal also allows for the charge to be dropped to a misdemeanor after probation and jail time are completed.

Gabremadhin family members protested the plea deal outside of the LAX courthouse Friday morning. They say Skillinberg should have to serve prison –not jail- time.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Barbara says:

    WHY was a plea bargain even offered ??? So sad for the family….

    1. TOM STEIN says:

      JUDGE KATHERINE MADER IS A FRIEND OF MARK SKILLINGBERG AND HIS ATTORNEY, MR HUTTON. JUDGE KATHERINE MADER IS A POLITICIAN AND A FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY. HER CLIENTS INCLUDED A DRUG CARTEL AND THE INFAMOUS “HILLSIDE STRANGLER” WHO KILLED 10 WOMEN. EVERY POLICE OFFICER KNOWS JUDGE MADER IS A FRIEND OFCRIMINALS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS. SO HOW MUCH MONEY CHANGED HANDS BETWEEN D.A COOLEY, D.A JOHN LYNCH, D.A STEFANA ANTONESCU, AND JUDGE KATHERINE MADER TO GET KILLER/DRUNK DRIVER SKILLINGBERG OFF SO EASY????? CBS PLEASE INVESTIGATE!!!!!

  2. CA562DUDE says:

    WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is NOT JUSTICE, If this was to happen to the Judge Famiily etc.. I bet you all the money in the world he would goto Prison..

  3. jazz says:

    I know that money will not ease the pain of the family’s loss but they should hit him where it hurts. His wallet.

    Sue him but do it quietly so he doesn’t get a chance to hide his assets.

    Do you think he would have received a harsher sentence if the victim was white?

  4. hmm... says:

    Becasue he made an illegal u-turn maybe…

  5. Mr. Brooks says:

    Maybe if the deceased would have NOT made an illegal U Turn in front of a drunk driver, he would be alive today.

    1. Mona Ibrahim says:

      that is the DA’s lame excuse…NO ILLEGAL TURN OR U-TURN WAS EVER MADE TO CONSTITUTE A U-TURN…GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT..YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CLAN SINCE DUI MEANS NOTHING TO YOU AND YOU CAN ONLY CONCENTRATE ON THE ALLEGED U-TURN DEAL….SO NARROW MINDED.

  6. American 1776 says:

    Just wonder how many more seasons you’ll think you should have when you reach 72.

  7. CarmaDogma says:

    The family is placing full blame on the person who had alcohol in his system during this accident while ignoring that it could just as easily have been a sober person who t-boned him with the same fatal results. The fact he was t-boned tells you there was not ample time to stop to prevent an accident. Had he been rear-ended, perhaps that could have been something to argue.

    Let’s not ignore the underlying lesson in this story…. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF AN ACCIDENT, IF YOU ARE INVOLVED AND HAVE ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM YOU WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS THE CAUSE.

    1. Mona Ibrahim says:

      LET’S REMEMBER IT WAS ABOUT 10PM ON PICO BLVD. IN WEST L.A…..DO U THINK IT WOULD HAVE HAD THE SAME IMPACT IF HE WAS NOT DRUNK? I DO NOT THINK SO. THE GUY WOULD HAVE AT LEAST BRAKED…NO SIGN OF SKID MARKS, WITNESSES TELL U HE WAS DRIVING RECKLESS AND IN SPEEDING ALMOST 70 MPH…AND TO TOP IT OFF…DRUNK TWICE THE LIMIT…DO U STILL THINK THE ACCIDENT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED THE SAME WAY OF SOBER?

  8. Barbee says:

    I get that the Family is upset by the sentence he’s received totally get that part but the victim of this was making an illegal u turn when he was t boned and killed even though the other driver was drunk he was still not the cause of the accident. Lord knows how many of us have driven home from a party with a lil too much to drink and made it safe? It is not acceptable to drive drunk and he should certainly be punished by not as severe as the family would like just saying had the victim been more careful when making that illegal turn he wouldn’t have been involved in an accident. This Man will have to live with this for the rest of his life (punishment enough) We have to be aware of everyone on the highway I have made illegal u turns a lot in my lifetime but to my knowledge I always make sure the highway is clear and that there are no CHP officers near to ticket me. Sad situation for everyone invloved Prayers going up for both families.

  9. krg says:

    So the guy was making an ILLEGAL uturn and got hit and it’s the other guys fault because he was drunk? What if he hadn’t been drunk and HE died because of this jerk pulling an illegal maneuver? Would they be so quick to throw their dad in jail?

    obviously the guy should be punished for being drunk but if the other driver contributed to the accident that needs to be taken into account

    1. david says:

      I agree with you krg. I hope the judge sees it this way if i ever get caught driving drunk and kill someone. Hopefully no kids will be killed. The judge might give me an extra year for that. LOL

  10. SW1973 says:

    The guy that killed the Angel’s player gets life. So this goes to tell you that if you don’t have status in this society you are basically nothing. The Judge needs to be put in Jail for giving Skillinberg this type of sentence. Skillinberg killed Mr.Gebregziabher Gabremadhin regardless if Mr. Gebregziabher Gabremadhin made an illegal turn Skillinberg was nearly twice the legal limit and could not make good judgement and took someones life. I hope Skillinberg doesn’t kill anyone else!!!!!!!!!

  11. david says:

    I hope I get this judge when I’m driving drunk and kill somebody. Lets just hope its not your family member I kill.

  12. Zoogirl says:

    I think everyone should take a step back and see that Mark obviously did not hit this man on purpose, has no previous criminal record, and just so happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyone of us could have been in his situation and hit the man who was making an illegal u-turn. S*** happens, unfortunately a man’s life was lost. I can guarantee that he will never drink and drive again and probably will wake up everyday thinking about what he did. That is punishment enough. Haven’t any of you ever made mistakes??? Oh that’s right, you’re all angels and god forbid you have ever done anything wrong…..You all need to get a life and spend some time doing something more productive than talking smack on a blog.

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