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Elderly woman sentenced to jail time

October 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 75-year-old woman has been sentenced to jail time in connection with a hit-and-run that left an 89-year-old woman dead in Placentia. The accident happened in a church parking lot. The driver may get to serve her sentence at home. Ana Maria Torres looked ahead. Through an interpreter she listened to the family of Jessie Pound, the 89-year-old woman she hit and killed two years ago.

"Jessie was the only person I ever called mom," cried Sheri Long, daughter-in-law of the victim. "The way she died is traumatic for the whole family."

During trial, the court heard how Torres was driving out of the parking lot of St. Joseph's church in Placentia when she hit the wife of the former Placentia mayor as she walked slowly with her cane on the sidewalk.

A church member witnessed it.

"Mom was screaming for her life on the pavement and Ms. Torres continued to drive over her head," said Long. "That to me, I can't sleep thinking about that."

The witness testified Torres stopped briefly, then accelerated driving away. She then lied to police. She said she attended an earlier mass and didn't drive her car. She said she walked. Even at her sentencing, Torres showed no remorse.

"I didn't commit this crime," said the interpreter for Ana Torres. "The person who committed it is outside."

Torres then alleged police misconduct, something that's never been substantiated.

"I still have the scars from when I was handcuffed," said the interpreter.

"She continues to claim she's innocent," said Long. "Appalling. Just appalling to me."

The judge sentenced Torres to nine months in jail, adding she could apply to wear an electronic bracelet and do the time at home. Authorities would still have to approve it.

"Really having no remorse and never admitting she committed this crime, the thought of someone getting home confinement in that situation, does not seem like justice to me," said prosecutor Jason Baez.

Her attorney says home confinement would be tough for Torres.

She's active, goes to church every day, she manages her apartment complex, she's moving about all the time," said defense attorney Gary Pohlson.

If Torres is not granted home confinement, she's expected to report to jail December 18 to begin serving her sentence.


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