By Bee Staff
A California appeals court has upheld the conviction of Roberto P. Vellanoweth (photo left at his trial), a once-prominent state executive and gubernatorial appointee, for a fatal DUI crash in Sacramento that killed four people in 2007.
Vellanoweth was sentenced to 17 years and 8 months for on four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of drunken driving leading to great bodily injury.
On March 26, 2007, Vellanoweth, now 66, crashed his Jeep Grand Cherokee into another car and killed Brizchelle Rice-Nash, 21, her 19-month-old son, Kamall Osby, her sister Brittanya Rice-Nash, 17, and family friend Shanice Patrice Carter, 18. A fifth teenage victim survived the crash but suffered extensive internal injuries.
According to trial testimony, Vellanoweth was speeding at 72 miles per hour on the rain-slickened South Land Park Drive near Wymore Way when he hit the other car. Testimony showed he was impaired by a blood-alcohol reading measured several hours later at 0.16. A minimum reading of 0.08 is considered legally impaired.
Vellanoweth's appeal for clemency form Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pending.
The link below is the 3rd District Court of Appeal's ruling on Vellanoweth's petition. (Warning: The ruling quotes trial testimony that contains obscenities.)