Couple Who Ran Down USC Student and Ran Off Get Maximum Sentence

4_1_09_ap.jpgAdrian Bachan’s mother grieves at a memorial held in April of 2009. Photo via Associated Press

Last March, Claudia Cabrera was speeding through South L.A. with her boyfriend at her side and their seven month old in the back seat.  After a couple of drinks, Cabrera failed to notice a pair of USC students legally crossing the street and crashed into them with her car.  Adrian Bachan was killed instantly, while her companion, Marcus Garfinkle, was stuck on the windshield of the car with numerous injuries including two broken legs.  Cabrera stopped her car briefly so she could dislodge Garfinkle before speeding off.

Earlier today, a judge handed down eight and seven year jail sentences to Cabrera and her former boyfriend, Josue Luna respectively.  The sentences were the maximum that either could get under law.  On one hand, it’s good to see the maximum sentence handed down.  On the other hand, this is a pair of hit and runs that mangled one victim and killed another and the most they could get is seven or eight years?

The Times’ LA_Now blog has the rest of the details from today’s proceedings.

  • roadblock

    they will probably serve only 4 years of those sentences. Interesting that this couple got max terms while the hit and run criminal who killed Jesus Castillo is facing I believe something like a year. (DJWheels knows the details)

  • Yuri

    According to the Times article, Cabrera was in addition to felony hit-and-run also convicted of misdemeanor vehicle manslaughter. I suppose that’s why she got 1 year more? How a horrible crime like this could be a misdemeanor is beyond me (I never studied law). Could it be that since she fled from the scene that they couldn’t convict her on driving under the influence? In that case, it pays to run. The law needs to be changed to treat automobiles for what they are, deadly weapons. If you’re allegedly drunk, shoot your gun recklessly, kill someone “by accident”, and run away is that a misdemeanor too?

  • Brian


    Jesus Castillo, the 44-year-old undocumented day laborer who was killed in a hit-and-run? Anyone know the ethnicity of the driver who killed this man?

    I got my knee-jerk suspicions as to why the drivers in the Bachan case received a longer sentence (victims’ race, age and class) but I obviously don’t know all the details of either case to really know. It’s an injustice in either case to have these lives taken away so suddenly.

    All lives are valuable, but unfortunately they aren’t treated as such in this society.

  • david p.

    this shows once again, if you want to kill someone and get your life back, do it in a car.

    why does it matter how you kill them? accidentally with gun? accidentally with your car? accidentally push them off a bridge? are any of these deaths less tragic.


  • Mad Park

    80 and 70 years might have been more appropriate, doncha think?

  • BWiize

    25 to LIFE!

  • Mar

    It costs on average 30-50 thousand dollars per year to keep someone in prison (the range depending on the security level of the prison ( Whereas it costs about 25 thousand to send a California student to a UC campus for a year, including housing. 15.4 billion on incarcerating Californians, and 15.3 billion on giving them higher education. (

    As gratifying as it seems to lock criminals away and leave them to suffer and get their just desserts, it really isn’t accomplishing much. The prison system provides three square meals a day, medical care, and a roof over their heads. I think the focus here should be more oriented towards reforming criminals and getting them to learn their lesson, rather than sending them away to somewhere we don’t have think about. There needs to be a bigger focus on productivity, like putting these people to work more often than having them sit about in a room/cell or yard.

  • JJ

    Amazing. Here in Fresno, theres a high profile trial about a fatehr who put a gang tattoo on his 8 year old son.

    He’s facin lfie in prison.

    Its a dime sized pawprint, and hes facing life, and these people get 7 for mruder.

  • Sara

    The Times lists Bachan’s first name as Adrianna.

  • Furious

    What, only 7-8 years for pushing an injured body off the windshield?
    wow she was so pretty

    I hear these are illegals again, if its true we really need to pass Arizona’s SB1070 here in CA to remove the illegal alien scum for good

  • Mad Park

    The scum that needs removed are those drivers who believe they are entitled to unlimited, irresponsible, unaccountable, and unfettered driving – whether they are from Calexico or Mexicali is not really relevant.

  • Brian



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