Garden Grove Driver Pleads Guilty

In a tragic incident on August 11, 2020, Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, a 43-year-old driver from Garden Grove, California, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder along with DUI-related charges and driving with a suspended license. This plea deal comes as she was about to face trial for a fatal crash in Anaheim that claimed the life of 23-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar, who was eight months pregnant at the time. During the incident, Pandolfi lost control of her vehicle, a Jeep, and crashed into Aguilar while she was out for a walk with her husband, James Alvarez. Despite emergency measures taken by doctors, Aguilar tragically lost her life, although the baby was successfully delivered via Cesarean section. Alvarez expressed relief that Pandolfi was taking responsibility for her actions after what he described as a long and emotional three years. Pandolfi, who faces a potential sentence of up to 15 years to life in prison, cried during Alvarez's statement in court. Pandolfi had a history of DUI convictions, dating back to 2008, 2015, and 2016, and had received prior warnings about the consequences of driving under the influence. The plea deal also included admission to a fourth DUI from November 2019, as well as possession and use of illegal substances while in jail awaiting trial. The district attorney described the crash as not an accident but the result of Pandolfi's habit of driving under the influence. He emphasized the tragic loss suffered by Aguilar's family, particularly her daughter, who will grow up without her mother. Pandolfi is set to return to court for sentencing on April 12.  
Location: Garden Grove, Orange County, California, USA
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