A drunken, hit-and-run driver–who was convicted in September of murdering a grandmother walking with her blind grandson to a Fourth of July celebration in San Clemente–was sentenced today to 18 years to life behind bars. Kelly Michele Wolfe, 47, of Capistrano Beach, had been found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of second-degree murder, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more and causing bodily injury, one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, and a sentencing enhancement for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent or more. Wolfe, who was convicted in 1995 of DUI in Nevada, acknowledged when she renewed her California driver's license in 2008 that she could be charged with murder if she killed a person while driving under the influence.
Marthann Demchuk, 76, was standing in a gutter of El Camino Real as her then 13-year-old blind grandson Mason held her arm while standing on a curb around 8:30 p.m. on July 4, 2013, when Wolfe drove a Volkswagen van over the grandmother.
The collision caused the van's horn to sound, and Wolfe continued driving it that way until she reached her home, where she was eventually arrested by Orange County sheriff's deputies. She had a blood alcohol content of .31 percent just before 10:40 p.m.–or about two hours after the crash.
Demchuck died from her injuries sustained from the crash, but Mason later recovered in the hospital treating him for abrasions to his face, mouth and legs.