CANYON COUNTRY (CBSLA.com) — The father of a young woman killed in a crash involving a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in Palmdale two years ago is demanding justice for his daughter.
“I’m not going to celebrate Christmas. I’m not going to do nothing, because my baby’s gone,” Timothy Paynter sobbed.
“I want justice for my daughter,” the victim’s mother said.
Sarah Paynter died a few months before her 21st birthday. She was in the back seat of a Ford Explorer along with her boyfriend, Robert Delgadillo, when a squad car driven by Deputy Kamal Jannah slammed into the SUV, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Both passengers were ejected from the SUV and died at the scene. With no lights or sirens on, the squad car broadsided the Explorer at the intersection of 17th Street and Avenue R, according to a witness at the time of the accident on Dec. 14, 2013.
“Deputy Jannah willfully drove at a speed that did not allow him sufficient time and distance to take appropriate evasive action to avoid a collision. This grossly negligent act was determined to be the proximate cause of this collision, the proximate cause of the fatal injuries,” according to a CHP report.
“This guy’s going down the street, no call, no sirens, no lights, no call, over the speed limit and kills my daughter,” the victim’s father said.
CHP investigators concluded that Jannah committed gross vehicular manslaughter.
But the district attorney declined to prosecute and stated that “we find that the people cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kamal Jannah committed the crime of gross vehicular manslaughter.”
The victim’s father said: “He killed them. He was the driver.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Jannah still works for the department at the Palmdale station. But he is not allowed to drive while on duty.
Timothy Paynter said the deputy should not be allowed to wear a sheriff’s uniform. “He knows he killed them. But he’s going to still face the Lord. And he’s going to get his justice.”
The Paynter family said they are exploring legal options in this case.