A Rancho Santa Margarita immigration attorney has been pulling all the tricks to delay imprisonment in the felony vehicular manslaughter case against her for a DUI accident that left a bicyclist dead.
On Friday morning, Orange County Superior Court Judge Greg Jones revoked H. Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s $100,000 bail, and sent her to jail until her sentencing hearing scheduled on June 10. The immigration attorney has been free since making bail on Sept. 27, 2013.
Fakhrai-Bayrooti pleaded guilty to drugged-driving manslaughter on March 10, the OC Weekly reports. Her attorney said that she did nothing wrong by pursuing due process in her case.
According to City News Service Reporter Paul Anderson, Jones’ decision could have been influenced by the statements made by the victim’s family members, and by the defense’s frustrating tactics.
Drugged Attorney Crashes Into Cyclist
The victim, E. Billings, 54, was the owner of Quest Construction, and a married father of four. He was killed around 6:45 p.m. on March 13, 2013.
That night, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was driving a 2003 Acura MDX, which drifted into the bicycle lane on southbound Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo, striking Billings.
At the time of the crash, she was driving under the influence of Xanax and Suboxone, said Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.
Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s preliminary hearing was delayed numerous times, causing Cornwell to schedule a grand jury indictment, which would have allowed him to avoid the preliminary hearing.
She was on her third attorney by then; she pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. A punishment from Jones is not guaranteed – he is looking at a sentencing range of 16 months, 2 or 4 years in prison.
After pleading guilty, she checked into a mental health program, and declined an interview with probation officials, thereby delaying the probation report, which is mandatory for sentencing.
Her attorney asked for the delay so he could review the probation report that from Friday. Since the defense must have at least five days to review this report, Jones was left with no choice but to allow the sentencing delay.
Whenever sentencing day comes, Billings’ family has urged Jones to impose the maximum punishment. They told Jones that Billings missed a son’s wedding, and the birth of a grandson that he will never meet. The family described Billings as a role model who would carry extra sweatshirts in his car to help people who were shivering in the cold, and who helped his brother through drug addiction.
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