A Ventura County man who was found guilty of a DUI crash in August 2009 that killed three casino workers was sentenced Friday to 96 years to life by a Madera County court.
Justin Rice, 36, was convicted Jan. 2 of nine counts: three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of vehicular manslaughter, one count of driving under the influence and causing injury, and two counts of resisting arrest, deputy district attorney Benjamin Levy said.
Rice was charged with 10 counts after the collision on Highway 41 that killed Estella Frias, 39, Elena Mendoza, 38, and Maria Flores-Rodriguez, 36, and injured two others. The three women who died were headed to work at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.
The California Highway Patrol said that Rice had been driving under the influence of drugs and was on parole from Ventura County on several charges, including child endangerment and assault on his mother.
Authorities said Rice's pickup crossed into the oncoming lane near the 22-Mile House and struck a vehicle carrying five women.
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