Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Woman Gets 6 Years in State Prison for Killing Cyclist While Driving Drunk

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Michelle Nicole Stearns of San Juan Capistrano was sentenced yesterday to six years in state prison for her role in the death of a cyclist who died after she struck him while she was driving drunk.

Stearns, 30, pleaded guilty in March to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the 2007 Dana Point collision that took the life of 32-year-old Jose Umberto Barranco-Patino.

The victim was biking home from his work as a busboy at a local restaurant when he was hit by Stearns, who had lost control of her BMW. She was determined to have a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit. Barranco-Patino suffered serious head trauma, and died at the scene.