A 28-year-old woman was sentenced to life in prison for a DUI crash that killed two people and left another seriously injured.
On August 9, 28-year-old Cheyenne Wyllie pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree murder against 69-year-old Angelita Espinosa and 10-year-old Jamie Espinosa, as well as felony driving under the influence causing injury with the special allegation of causing great bodily injury against George Espinosa, Jamie’s father.
In the evening of March 26, 2016, the Tualre County District Attorney’s Office says Wylie ran a stop sign and slammed into a minivan driven by the Espinosa family. The family was visiting Tulare County from Las Vegas at the time.
Angelita and Jamie were killed in the crash and George suffered major injuries requiring multiple and extensive surgeries.
The DA says Wylie was determined to be driving with a .21% BAC.
Investigation showed Wylie had spent the evening drinking at a downtown Visalia restaurant and at a friend’s house.
Cellular phone forensics showed that Wyllie sent text messages to friends and family detailing her inebriation and her intention to drive, despite return text messages telling her not to.
“The word ‘closure’ is a difficult word to use in a tragic case like this. Just because the court process has ended doesn’t mean the Espinosa family will be made whole again. Cheyenne Wyllie took what can never be given back,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “What is readily apparent is the outpouring of love and support from friends, family, and this community for the Espinosa family. I ask that Angelita and Jamie’s memories be honored this way: if you truly love and care for others, never drive under the influence. Please call someone, use rideshare, or just don’t get behind the wheel. These cases are entirely preventable. Please be safe on the road.”
Under current California law, the DA says Wyllie must serve 19 years and 4 months in prison before she is eligible for a parole hearing.
“We will honor the victims by never forgetting this tragedy. The Office of the District Attorney will appear at any potential parole hearing and argue against the possibility of early release,” continued District Attorney Ward.
The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol and the TCDA Bureau of Investigations.