Driver that struck two girls, killing one, sentenced to 11 years

Posted at 2:33 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 22:23:54-05

SAN DIEGO - A woman convicted of driving into two girls on a sidewalk in Tierrasanta was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday.

Julianne Little, 31, was convicted in November 2016 of gross vehicular manslaughter, after she drove onto a sidewalk and hit Raquel Rosete, 10, and her 12-year-old friend, Mekayla Lee. Police said Little then fled the scene but returned a short time later.

Rosete suffered a broken spine and a traumatic brain injury. She was placed on life support and died three days later. Lee suffered a broken ankle and concussion.

In 2016, jurors determined Little was distracted behind the wheel, but was not texting or fatigued. A blood test did not find any drugs or alcohol in Little's system.

Little's defense attorney, Charles Quirk, conceded during the trial that his client was guilty of manslaughter, but only because of ordinary negligence.

Related: Driver guilty in Tierrasanta crash that killed 10-year-old

Deputy District Attorney Melissa Vasel argued during the trial that Little couldn't wait to text a man she had been texting since the night before. The prosecution was not able to prove Little had been texting though.

During his closing arguments, Quirk argued that Little had been tired and fell asleep while driving home. He told jurors that when Little finally arrived home, she told her father she had been in an accident and they immediately returned to the scene.