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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 2:02 am | Fair 50º


Couple Get Prison in Hit-and-Run Death of Adrianna Bachan

Santa Barbara High grad and USC freshman was walking back to campus with a friend when they were struck

A couple convicted in the 2009 hit-and-run death of USC freshman Adrianna Bachan, 18, were sentenced to prison Monday.

In sentences handed down by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, driver Claudia Cabrera, 31, received eight years in prison, and her husband, Josue Luna, 34, who had been riding in the front seat with her, received seven years. The couple’s 7-month-old son had been riding in the back seat during the collision.

Cabrera pleaded no contest to felony hit-and-run resulting in great bodily injury, as well as to a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. Luna, charged only with the felony count, also pleaded no contest.

They told the court on Monday that they were remorseful, but their requests for lesser sentences were denied.

According to the testimony of a bystander who witnessed the March 29, 2009, fatal crash, Bachan was struck while walking home from a fraternity party with Marcus Garfinkle, who also was hit.

The witness said Garfinkle was thrown onto the hood of the car and into the windshield. Medical reports later confirmed that he had sustained multiple injuries, including two broken legs. The witness said that after the vehicle had stopped, Luna pulled Garfinkle out of the windshield — with Cabrera pushing from inside the car — and tossed him to the curb before the couple and their son sped off into the night.

Bachan, a 2008 graduate of Santa Barbara High School, died of severe head injuries. She was captain of the school’s soccer team her senior year, and was majoring in environmental studies at USC and was a new member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Garfinkle later recovered from his injuries, but according to court records, problems with his insurance company left his family faced with a stack of medical bills exceeding $200,000.

In the wake of the accident, prosecutors said Cabrera and Luna paid to have their car’s windshield repaired before having the car towed to Tijuana, Mexico. Although Luna had agreed to produce the vehicle for the police investigation, it never materialized and police were left empty-handed.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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