SANTA ANA (AP) — A 30-year-old Southern California woman has been sentenced to six years in state prison for the drunken driving death of a bicyclist four years ago.

The Orange County district attorney’s office says Michelle Nicole Stearns of San Juan Capistrano was sentenced Friday. She had pleaded guilty in March to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Sheriff’s investigators said her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit to drive when she lost control of her BMW in Dana Point and killed 32-year-old Jose Umberto Barranco-Patino in 2007.

Barranco-Patino, who bussed tables at a local restaurant, was riding his bike home from work. The Los Angeles Times reports he suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. jay says:

    She should have gotten life!

  2. Josh Butts says:

    Only 6 years for killing someone because she was Drinking and Driving?

  3. Mike says:

    Well he was clearly latino and it was South OC, where latinos aren’t really viewed as “people.” So 6 years will make sure that she doesn’t kill a white person next time she is out.

  4. Paul says:

    another reason they should prohibit alcohol and legalize cannabis when it come to car accidents alcohol plays a big role.

  5. Surfshark714 says:

    It seems to me this happened before the People vs. Watson case in 2008 that now can sentence people who kill someone under the influence 15 years to life in prison. Although the 6 years does seem light for killing someone, especially with DUI….and I am sure the guilt is wracking her soul. The fact that a person would most likely not hit someone while sober, to me, it leads to a question of sanity. Alcohol is truly a lethal substance when abused and alters people’s state of mind to the point of “accidentally” killing someone.

  6. Pratt Robert says:

    Now if I were the family of biker I would sue the city n state. .I bet there were no clearly marked bike lanes, Iam sure The biker didnt have Insurance, can sue the state for that. even tho he’s in the wrong ,thay have the grater burden for no inforcement. OH thay could go nuts in a court room with a good lawyer.

  7. Carol Donofrio says:

    Don’t feel sorry for any illegal!!! If he stayed in mexico – he’d be alive and well, in his own sewer!!! Not one(1) penny or any handout for any illegal or their offspring!!! Just think of all the welfare and care money the drunk saved for the USA!!! Great goin’ drunk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. 1stman says:

      Donofrio doesn’t sound American.

      Out you go.

  8. asst mayor of los angles says:

    sounds like she is white and the dead is latino…well,look at the brightside of this…if it was the other way around. the latino would have haul it to mexico.

  9. not says:

    Deport that illegal anchor baby for killing this poor hard working Mexican!

  10. not says:

    Donofrio is a mutt cause the real Italians don’t even like her!

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