SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 20-year-old man who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he caused a fiery crash in Bay Park, killing two female passengers, was sentenced today to 13 years in state prison.
Antony N. Schoenle pleaded guilty in September to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing great bodily injury, along with a misdemeanor charge of giving false information to a police officer, and
admitted an allegation that he fled the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott told Judge Polly Shamoon that Schoenle caused two young women to burn to death in a crash that was "100 percent preventable."
Before the 7:30 a.m. accident last Aug. 22, Schoenle had been partying for 12 hours, ingesting alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine, the prosecutor said, adding that the defendant stole $300 in order to buy the drugs.
Schott said the defendant's blood-alcohol level was measured above .14 percent after the crash. He also said Schoenle didn't try to help either victim and crawled over 21-year-old Lizette Garcia to get out of the car, later
describing her as "dead weight."
Schoenle tried to run away, telling two citizens and a police officer a made-up story about his wife being in a hospital and giving birth, Schott told the judge. The defendant also gave a fake name to the officer, the prosecutor said.
While Schoenle was running away from the burning car, the victims could be heard moaning for about five minutes, Schott said. A deputy medical examiner determined that Garcia and 20-year-old Guadalupe Acosta Amado were still alive when they were burned to death.
Schott said Schoenle crawled over Garcia to "save his own skin."
Outside court, Lizette Garcia's mother said she didn't feel like justice was served by the 13-year sentence. She called Schoenle a liar.
"It's not going to bring my daughter back," Dorothy Garcia said. "I'm hoping that this lesson will teach anybody out there not to be drinking (and) driving. Stop with the drugs. If you're going to drink, get a designated driver."
Guadalupe Acosta's father, Valentin, said in court that Schoenle "should not be forgiven, even by God."
A weeping Schoenle apologized for his decisions.
"It's unbelievable," the defendant said, "how this bad choice took the lives of two wonderful people."
The judge said the fiery crash was not an accident but the culmination of many bad decisions by the defendant. She said Schoenle had been engaging in the same type of behavior for weeks and weeks.
Schott said Schoenle -- who was set to begin his senior year at San Diego State University -- was headed west on Friars Road when he drove off the road near the Pacific Highway overpass and struck a curb, sending the car airborne and down an embankment. The sedan hit a pillar and caught fire.