General Crime

Catherine Lee Sentenced To Four Years For Vehicular Manslaughter After Killing Benjamin Tyler Anguiano In Monterey County

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A 22-year-old woman was sentenced today in Monterey County Superior Court to four years in state prison in connection with the traffic death of a male passenger in her car last September, a prosecutor said.

Monterey County Judge Larry Hayes handled down the sentence to Catherine Lee, a resident of the Prunedale area, following her conviction for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, Deputy District Attorney Ed Hazel said.

On Sept. 2, 2013, at about 3:30 a.m., the California Highway Patrol responded to a report of a collision in the area of state Highway 1 and state Highway 156 near Castroville, Hazel said.

Lee, who had gone out drinking alcohol in bars, fell asleep at the wheel of her Toyota Scion while heading east on Highway 156, prosecutors said.

According to the CHP, her car left the roadway and went down a dirt embankment, rolled over at least once and came to rest on its wheels in a ditch with about two feet of water.

Her passenger, Benjamin Tyler Anguiano, 26, was thrown from the car and his body was located in a field about 80 to 100 feet from the Scion, according to Hazel.

Medical personnel later pronounced Anguiano dead at the scene, Hazel said.

Breath samples provided by Lee showed blood-alcohol levels of .06 and .07 around an hour after the accident, according to prosecutors.

The results of a test of Lee’s urine showed traces of THC, the chemical found in marijuana, Hazel said.

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