Local

Family to mother of five, killed in DUI crash, says driver’s possible sentence too low

Anna Rodriguez of Selma died last year when the car she was riding in crashed just south of Fresno. The driver, Edwin Sebastian, pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Anna Rodriguez of Selma died last year when the car she was riding in crashed just south of Fresno. The driver, Edwin Sebastian, pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Special to The Bee

Edwin Sebastian, who is charged in the DUI-related death of his girlfriend, pleaded no contest Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He faces up to six years in prison.

Sebastian, 28, of Mendota, is accused of driving drunk while taking his girlfriend Anna Rodriguez home from a night of dancing at a Fresno night club.

Police say Sebastian was driving westbound on American Avenue at about 2 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2018 when he blew through a stop sign at Golden State Boulevard. He lost control of the 2015 Chrysler he was driving, overturning the vehicle.

Rodriguez, 39, a mother of five children, died of her injuries.

In court, Sebastian looked straight down as he entered his plea. One of Rodriguez’s relatives quietly sobbed as Judge Jon Kapetan explained Sebastian could be facing up to six years in prison.

“That’s not enough for the pain he caused,” said her son Andrew Rodriguez, 17, outside of the courtroom.

Rodriguez said he didn’t like his mother dating Sebastian, saying he was always drinking while at their Selma home.

“He would buy a 12-pack and finish it all by himself,” he said.

Rodriguez’s daughter Maite Jaurez, said she’ll have to fill the role of mother to help raise her siblings, ages 20, 17, 8 and 6.

“The younger ones still ask for her,” Juarez said.

Aimee Rodriguez, a sister to the victim, said Anna would still be alive if Sebastian had only accepted a ride home that night. They had been at the Los Arcos night club on Belmont and Palm avenues.

“Someone was willing to give them a ride home, but he wouldn’t take it,” she said. “He wanted to drive himself.”

Sebastian is scheduled to be sentenced on July 18 at 8:30 a.m. in Kapetan’s courtroom.

  Comments