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A 23-year-old San Bruno man today was sentenced to nine years in prison for drinking and causing a crash that killed 60-year-old Sondra Gentile in November 2011. Mitnesh Reddy was immediately remanded into custody this morning after receiving his sentence, prompting an outburst of shock and protest from about 20 of the defendant’s family members and friends who attended the hearing, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Judge Mark Forcum was forced to clear the courtroom in order for proceedings to continue, Wagstaffe said. Two of Gentile’s brothers and a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving testified at the emotional hearing, Wagstaffe said. On Nov. 6, 2011, at about 3:50 a.m., Gentile, a San Bruno resident, was turning onto El Camino Real from Interstate Highway 380 when Reddy ran a stoplight and broadsided her vehicle, according to San Bruno police.
Gentile died from her injuries at the scene. Reddy left the scene of the crash, but police tracked his car to his home, where he was arrested that same day. Investigators later determined that Reddy had been driving while under the influence of alcohol, and in November 2012, he pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunk driving.
At his sentencing this morning, defense attorneys David Franklin and Laura Torres said that Reddy was “very sorry” and had been seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, Wagstaffe said. Reddy could have faced a sentence of more than 11 years, he said.
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