SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – An Orange County woman convicted of killing
a grandmother who was with her blind grandson during Fourth of July celebrations
was sentenced on Nov. 20 to 18 years in prison for her crime.
The drunken hit-and-run driver, K. Michele Wolfe, 47, of Capistrano Beach
was found guilty by a jury on one count each of:
- Driving without a valid driver’s license;
- Driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more;
- Driving under the influence causing bodily injury; and
Second-degree murder, also known as a
Wolfe also received a sentencing enhancement for driving with a BAC of
0.15% or more.
On July 4, 2013 at around 8:30 p.m. M. Demchuk, 76, was standing in a gutter
on El Camino Real as her 13-year-old blind grandson was standing on the
curb, holding her arm. The pair were there for a Fourth of July celebration.
Wolfe, who was driving a Volkswagen van, drove over the grandmother and
without stopping, headed home.
Due to the collision, the van’s horn went off and Wolfe drove all
the way home with the horn blaring. Orange County sheriff’s deputies
eventually arrested Wolfe at her residence. At about 10:40 p.m., approximately
2 hours after the deadly hit-and-run crash, her
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registered at .31%.
Demchuck died as a result of the injuries sustained from the crash. Her
grandson was transported to a local hospital to treat injuries to his
face, mouth and legs. Fortunately, his injuries were not life-threatening
and he survived the crash.
Wolfe’s Second-Degree Murder Charges
This wasn’t the Wolfe’s first DUI. She was convicted of DUI
in Nevada in 1995. When Wolfe renewed her California driver’s license
in 2008, she acknowledged that the state could charge her with murder
if she ever killed another person while driving under the influence.
If this was the first time Wolfe was ever convicted of
DUI, she likely would have been charged with
vehicular manslaughter under Penal Code 191.5 PC.
Since Wolfe was convicted of DUI before and acknowledged that she could
be charged with murder if she killed another person while under the influence,
she was charged with “second degree murder,” which is worse
than vehicular manslaughter.
If you’re facing vehicular manslaughter or second-degree murder charges
in Orange County,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to work with one of OC’s
top DUI defense firms!