Back in December of 2018, we discussed the sentencing of Olivia Carolee Culbreath, who was charged with murder for a car crash in Diamond Bar. The judge on her case sentenced her to 30 years to life in prison for causing the death of six individuals. Recently, the Court of Appeals made a ruling regarding a filed appeal for the defendant.
At the time of the incident, Culbreath had been driving a Chevrolet Camaro with her sister and a friend. Somehow, she ended up driving against traffic on the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway and crashed head-on into a Ford Explorer.
All four passengers of the Explorer were killed, along with Culbreath’s sister and friend. Previously, authorities convicted Culbreath of a DUI in 2010 and suspended her license until 2011. This second crash in Diamond Bar happened in the early hours of February 9th, 2014. Because of the short time span between the first and second crashes, the prosecution pushed for a severe court sentence.
Culbreath’s Appeal is Denied
A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal listened to the defense’s argument and denied Culbreath’s appeal. The defense stated that the original sentencing should have granted a motion to suppress evidence. They reported that the initial blood draw had been taken while Culbreath was unconscious.
However, the defense could not sway the panel. In their ruling on February 26, 2020, they found “that the circumstances here clearly justified the warrantless blood draw… To call this an emergency would be an understatement; it was a catastrophe … The totality of the circumstances shows that the warrantless blood draw was reasonable based on the exigent circumstances present.”
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