Second-time drunken driverJeffrey David Kirby
, 53, of Costa Mesa, was sentenced today to nine years in state prison for causing the crash that killed
, the co-founder of the Huntington Beach-based mixed-martial-arts clothing company TapouT.
Before handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey heard victim-impact statements from the late Lewis' siblings, business partner and the woman who was in the car with Lewis before he died.
TapouT co-founder Dan Codwell described Lewis as an inspiration who had a positive effect on everyone.
Lewis' brother and sister called him a great sibling and person and described how they are suffering from this loss. His sister added that the world lost a Marine and deputy sheriff.
And Lacy Lynn White, who was in the passenger seat of Lewis' Ferrari that fateful night, told the judge how the crash negatively impacted her life and how she lost an important person.
Toohey also heard from Kirby.
"I never hurt anyone intentionally or accidentally in my life; I wish I could right the wrong I have caused. . . . I wish I could reverse the miseries I have caused," said Kirby, according to an Orange County Register report. ""I never should have driven that night after drinking alcohol. I will never recover from this tragedy. . . . I am very sorry."
UPDATE, DEC. 10, 2010, 1:39 P.M.: Earlier this week, second-time drunken driver Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, of Costa Mesa was convicted of killing Charles "Mask" David Lewis Jr., the co-founder of the Huntington Beach-based mixed-martial arts clothing company TapouT.
You've read that Lewis died after a crash that split his Ferrari in two. You may have even seen partial scenes of the early morning March 2009 wreck on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
But you really don't get a sense of how violent the crash was until you see the full scene, which you can do now.
The U.K.'s Daily Mail has put together some close-ups and wide shots that reveal the full force of the tragedy.
View it here.
UPDATE, DEC. 8, 2010, 4:39 P.M.: A 53-year-old, second-time drunken driver was convicted today of killing Charles "Mask" David Lewis Jr., the co-founder of the Huntington Beach-based mixed-martial arts clothing company TapouT.
Lewis died in a March 2009 crash that split his Ferrari in two.
Found guilty by a jury of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury, Jeffrey David Kirby of Costa Mesa could get up to 13 years in state prison at his Feb. 4 sentencing in Santa Ana.
The Orange County district attorney's office statement on the conviction follows:
December 8, 2010
SECOND-TIME DRUNKEN DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING ANOTHER MOTORIST BY SPLITTING VICTIM'S VEHICLE IN HALF IN HIGH SPEED CRASH
SANTA ANA - A second-time drunken was convicted today of killing a man and injuring his passenger after crashing his Porsche into the victim's Ferrari, causing it to slam into a light pole and spilt in half. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, Costa Mesa, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury was found true. He has a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 2002. Kirby faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison at his sentencing Feb. 4, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on March 11, 2009, Kirby was speeding in his 1977 Porsche with a 32-year-old female passenger, Lynn Marie Nabozny, alongside a 2004 Ferrari driven by 45-year-old Charles David Lewis, Jr., on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach. Kirby lost control of his car due to his unsafe speed and crashed into Lewis' vehicle. Lewis lost control of his Ferrari, which crashed into a cement light pole and was torn in half. Kirby swerved and came to a stop on Jamboree Road for several seconds before accelerating and leaving the scene.
A Newport Beach Police officer, who had been passing northbound on Jamboree, observed the crash and immediately stopped to assist Lewis and called for back up. Lewis was trapped inside the front half of the Ferrari, which had to be dismantled in order to remove him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lewis' 23-year-old passenger, Lacy Lynn White, was ejected from the car and landed on the nearby dirt embankment. White was transported to Western Medical Center to be treated for several bone fractures, lacerations and abrasions.
After leaving the scene, Kirby parked his Porsche, which had body damage consistent with having been involved in a crash, on Bison Avenue. Within minutes of the crash, a responding Newport Beach Police officer observed Kirby's parked car and saw the defendant and Nabozny walking outside of the defendant's vehicle. Kirby and Nabozny were both apprehended. When contacted by officers, the defendant was emitting an odor of alcohol, slurring his speech, and had bloodshot and watery eyes. He was arrested at the scene.
At approximately 3:00 a.m., two hours after the crash, Kirby had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent. Nabozny was arrested for public intoxication and later released.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Vehicular Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
UPDATE, NOV. 24, 2010, 10:19 A.M.: The trial for the man accused of killing Charles Lewis Jr., the 45-year-old Huntington Beach resident better known as mixed-martial arts clothing company TapouT's co-founder "Mask," is scheduled to begin Monday morning in Santa Ana, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced.
Jeffrey David Kirby, a 53-year-old Costa Mesa resident with a prior DUI conviction on his record, could get 19 years and eight months in state prison if he is convicted of the charges against him, which follow after the jump . . .
- One felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated
- One felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury
- Sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and causing great bodily injury to multiple victims.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 22, 2010, 8:05 a.m.: Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning in Judge Richard F. Toohey's Santa Ana courtroom in the vehicular manslaughter case against the driver of a 1977 Porsche that crashed with a red Ferrari shortly before 1 a.m. on March 11, 2009, on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
The high-performance Ferrari split in two after hitting a cement light pole, and driver Charles Lewis Jr. was killed. The 45-year-old Huntington Beach resident was better known as "Mask," the founder of the mixed-martial-arts clothing company TapouT.
Lewis was posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2009, the only non-fighter ever inducted.
Lacy Lynn White, Lewis' girlfriend, was ejected from the Ferrari and landed on a sidewalk, where she suffered broken vertebrae, a broken hip, a shattered elbow and other injuries.
A repeat drunken driver, Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, of Costa Mesa could get up to 18 years in state prison if he is convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, plus sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury to White and fleeing the scene of the crash. He has been jailed since the crash in lieu of $500,000 bail.
But Kirby's defense attorney, Mark Fredrick, maintains Mask was the driver who was at fault.
"The Ferrari was driving much, much faster than the Porsche, and the reckless and menacing fashion in which the Ferrari was being driven was the cause of the accident," Fredrick told the Orange County Register last week. "The Ferrari was going so fast that the car was completely split in half when it hit the pole."
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Fredrick added that his client "has been terribly, terribly sorry from day one that the other driver was killed."
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez counters Kirby was driving with a blood/alcohol content of .13, nearly twice the legal limit, two hours after the Porsche and the Ferrari collided--and that detectives found receipts in his wallet that indicated he'd been drinking in Irvine and San Juan Capistrano watering holes that night. Kirby had DUIs in 1985 and 2002.
Meanwhile, in preliminary testimony, a Newport Beach police officer said Kirby told him he had been driving too fast, speeding up next to the Ferrari so his date could get a good look at it.
Kirby lost control and hit the Ferrari while spinning out on Jamboree between Bison Avenue and East Bluff Drive, alleges Baez, who concedes Lewis may have contributed to the crash but that it would not have happened without Kirby's negligence.