SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Raw emotion filled a San Diego courtroom Tuesday as the friends and family members of those killed and injured in a crash faced the drunk driver responsible at her sentencing.
Thirteen people flew in from San Francisco to speak during victim impact statements. The most powerful words came from Giao Pham's life partner, John Lawhead. Pham was killed in the March 23rd crash.
"We were together for eleven years, until your actions that night took my partner, my world, my everything. You still don't have any remorse in your heart, you're a very shallow, person aren't you!?"
At one point, the defendant, Alondra Marquez, interrupted, saying "You don't know me," Lawhead shouted back, " I don't care to know you, the only reason I know you is because you murdered my partner!"
Marquez, 22, rear-ended a Lyft car on Highway 163 in Balboa Park, killing Pham and leaving his friend, Andy Lynn with a traumatic brain injury. Prosecutors said Marquez had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit and was driving more than 100 miles an hour.
In a bizarre coincidence, Marquez and the two victims were at the same Hillcrest bar the night of the crash. While Pham and Lynn chose to hire a Lyft, Marquez chose to drive, even though several people offered to give her a ride.
"You had five chances not to drive your car, you chose to drive, at your fastest speed of 109 miles an hour, but that wasn't fast enough or good enough for you," shouted Lawhead
Pham and Lynn were visiting from San Francisco for a wedding. The impact sent the car flying into a ravine. The Lyft driver suffered minor injuries.
Lawhead held up a picture of Pham's gravesite. " The last place that I seen him go in the ground is where I find comfort, this is what I see when I go to see him now, do you understand your actions now?!"
Marquez showed no emotion and read from a prepared statement. She said she doesn't remember anything about the night.
"Physically, it's my fault, but spiritually and emotionally, I don't know where I was, but I wasn't there," she said from behind the glass.
Lawhead told her she is the first person he truly hates. " I never thought I could truly hate someone. I hate your heart. I hate your soul. I hate your being, your spirit, I hate all of you."
Marquez said she isn't a bad person.
" Just know that I am not a bad or evil girl, my brain is processing this. It's a hard pill to swallow."
Marquez asked for forgiveness. "I'm real sorry. I can't do nothing about it, but I'm locked up if that makes you guys feel better."
She pleaded guilty and faces a maximum sentence of 13 years, four months in prison when the judge announces her sentence next week.