Actor Lane Garrison pleaded guilty Monday to several alcohol-related driving charges, including vehicular manslaughter, in connection with the December death of a popular Beverly Hills High School student, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. The former star of the Fox drama, “Prison Break” could face up to six years and eight months behind bars after admitting responsibility for the accident in which 17-year-old Vahagn Setian was killed and two 15-year-old girls were seriously injured, the article stated.
The 27-year-old actor was driving his 2001 Land Rover when it crashed into a tree on South Beverly Drive near Olympic Boulevard just before midnight on Dec. 2. The three teenagers were passengers in Garrison’s SUV. Authorities said the vehicle was traveling at more than 40 mph in a 25-mph zone. At the time of the accident, Beverly Hills police questioned Garrison but did not arrest him. Blood tests subsequently showed the actor was driving under the influence of cocaine and had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, the Times article said.
Police had recommended charging Garrison with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, which could have increased his potential prison time to 14 years, but prosecutors did not find grounds for that charge. Garrison pleaded guilty on Monday to one felony count of driving under the influence, causing injury to multiple victims, and one misdemeanor count of providing alcohol to a minor. He also admitted causing great bodily injury and death and driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.15%.
Garrison does not have a plea deal with prosecutors, but the judge could take into account his willingness to admit wrongdoing in handing down a sentence, according to the Times report. Sentencing is set for Aug. 2.
This case had trouble written all over it for the actor from the day this incident occurred. Sometimes, you have to wonder what people are thinking or if they were thinking at all! Here is a 27-year-old man who is driving drunk with three juveniles in his vehicle. Not only are the criminal charges valid, but if he were to be sued by the family of the 17-year-old for wrongful death or the family of the teenage girls for their injuries, that would hold water as well.
Drunk driving is one of the worst forms of negligence. It is irresponsible and immoral; especially in cases like these, where a drunk driver puts young, innocent lives at risk.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk or negligent driver, call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-800-259-6373 to find out about your legal options.