A Ventura man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the deaths of three Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino employees in a DUI crash in 2009.
Justin Eugene Rice, 35, was sentenced in Madera County Superior Court to 96 years to life for three counts of second degree murder.
Rice was under the influence of methamphetamine on Aug. 20, 2009, when he veered into the northbound lane on southbound Highway 41. A vehicle carrying five casino employees was unable to avoid Rice, and three people died in the crash.
Rice was taken to the emergency room at Madera Community Hospital, where he tried to escape.
He also has a prior strike for failing to stay out of prison for five years.
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