Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 8:01 pm | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Teen Driver Charged in Death of Montecito Pedestrian Changes Plea to No Contest

Tyler Fourmy, accused of striking and killing a woman walking on Coast Village Road, faces up to a year in jail on vehicular manslaughter and drug-related charges

The 18-year-old man accused of vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian in Montecito changed his plea to no contest Friday and will be sentenced in October.

Tyler Fourmy of Santa Barbara was charged with striking and killing 47-year-old Florinda Flores with the minivan he was driving as the Montecito woman walked to a bus stop less than a block from her home on Coast Village Road on May 27, 2010. She died from her injuries.

Fourmy, who was 17 at the time of the crash, also pleaded no contest to misdemeanor and infraction charges of transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana, driving at an unsafe speed, an unlawful turning movement and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility. He is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 17 in Santa Barbara County Juvenile Court.

Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Adams had set the trial for next week after denying public defender Mark Saatjian’s motion to dismiss.

Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen said Fourmy could be sentenced to one year in jail, license suspension, fines and fees. She left the courtroom Friday to immediately tell witnesses they were no longer needed.

Flores’ husband, brother and sister-in-law appeared in court Friday and said they were disappointed that the case won’t go to trial. They said they had hoped to get some answers about the day she died.

“This is important for me and my family to figure out what happened,” said Wolfgang Schulz, Flores’ husband.

Flores’ 16-year-old daughter, her mother and other family in Mexico are also having a hard time, Schulz said. He has visited them a few times since Flores’ death and plans to go again at Christmas.

Miguel Garcia, Flores’ brother, who owns a local auto shop and introduced his sister to Schulz, said the result is “just not right.”

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” Garcia said. “It’s so painful, the whole process.”

His wife, Cecilia Ortega, said she’s not happy with the result but that she knows she can’t do anything.

The family hopes to learn more through a wrongful death civil case, filed earlier this year on their behalf by attorney Jeffrey Young, who said it will use information from the criminal case.

The lawsuit accuses Fourmy of being negligent and his parents, Santa Barbara marijuana dispensary owner Patrick Fourmy and Susan Granziera, of negligence for entrusting an “unfit driver” with a motor vehicle in “defective condition,” since Fourmy has claimed the steering and braking went out on the minivan at the time of the crash.

Fourmy and his parents have since filed cross-complaints against Smitty’s Towing, the company that mistakenly sold the 1995 Toyota Previa minivan that was Santa Barbara Police Department evidence. It was later destroyed, which the Fourmys say deprives them of establishing an element of their defense.

While Fourmy claims the van was defective, his parents claim it was in fine working order.

Smitty’s Towing has since denied all of the allegations, according to court documents, and a case management conference is scheduled for October.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >