Attorney General Becerra Announces 10-Year Prison Sentence for Bryan Charette in Santa Barbara County Vehicular Manslaughter Case
SANTA BARBARA - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the sentencing of Bryan Charette in a case of gross vehicular manslaughter that resulted in the death of Alfredo Garcia Martinez, a 73-year-old Oxnard resident. On September 21, 2018, while driving with a blood alcohol level of .179 percent – more than twice the legal limit – Mr. Charette struck and killed Mr. Martinez in a head-on collision. Mr. Martinez died at the scene. Mr. Charette, who pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a high blood alcohol level, was sentenced to ten years in state prison.
“Driving while impaired is not only illegal, it is reckless and dangerous,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Bryan Charette chose to be unforgivably reckless and dangerous. The price he pays cannot undo the damage he has done. Mr. Martinez’s death was tragic and preventable. No one should die at the hands of an intoxicated driver. My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Martinez.”
The California Department of Justice accepted the case on September 25, 2018, at the request of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office because of a possible conflict of interest. And on October 9, 2018, the California Office of the Attorney General filed criminal charges against the defendant in the Santa Barbara Superior Court of California. Attorney General Becerra’s complaint charged the defendant with five different counts, which included murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing bodily injury, and reckless driving proximately causing great bodily injury. On April 12, 2019, the defendant pleaded no contest to one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and to one felony count of driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing bodily injury.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the California Highway Patrol.