Crime

Valley woman gets life in prison for killing girl, grandmother on Easter trip

A South Valley woman who drove drunk and killed a young girl and a grandmother in a 2016 crash was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Cheyenne Wyllie, 28, had a .21 blood-alcohol level when she ran a stop sign and slammed into a minivan with a Las Vegas family. Angelita Espinosa, 69, and Jamie Espinosa, 10, were killed. The young girl’s parents, George and Charlotte Espinosa, were also hurt.

Last month, Wyllie pleaded no contest to two charges of second-degree murder.

The crash happened on Avenue 200 and Spacer Drive, south of Tulare. According to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Wyllie, of Springville, drove despite texts telling her not to. She had been drinking at a friend’s house and at a Visalia restaurant before the crash.

Wyllie will have to serve 19 years before she is eligible for a parole hearing, according to the district attorney’s office. But that doesn’t guarantee her release under the indeterminate life sentence, the district attorney said. The office plans to be present at Wyllie’s future parole hearings to argue against early release.

“If you truly love and care for others, never drive under the influence,” Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said in a statement. “Please call someone, use rideshare, or just don’t get behind the wheel.”

According to online reports and a GoFundMe set up for the family, the Espinosas were returning from an Easter trip to Yosemite National Park when they were struck.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez

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Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.
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