For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
DRUNKEN DRIVER WITH OPEN BOTTLE OF VODKA SENTENCED FOR KILLING WOMAN AND INJURING HER SON
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver with an open bottle of vodka in his car was sentenced today to two years and eight months in jail for killing a woman and injuring her son. Edward Stanley Butler, 72, San Bernardino, was found guilty by a jury April 6, 2012, of one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter by lawful act that might cause death without gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury.
The People requested the defendant receive a sentence of four years and eight months in state prison. Under the new State sentencing laws (AB 109), the court split the defendant’s sentence. Butler was ordered to serve two years and two months in local jail and the remaining six months on supervised probation.
At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2010, victim Tamiko Kaminaga, 60, was driving with her 17-year-old son Jorge Maresch out of a parking lot in Orange. Butler failed to stop or slow as Kaminaga made a legal left turn and crashed into the victim’s vehicle.
When Orange Police officers arrived, Butler was found sitting near his vehicle. He was in possession of an open bottle of vodka in his vehicle and displayed objective signs of intoxication including slurred speech and red and watery eyes. Butler had a blood alcohol level of .22 percent.
Kaminaga was transported to Western Medical Center and died a short time later due to blunt force trauma. Maresch suffered a broken nose and facial lacerations.
During the sentencing today, the People read a victim impact statement on behalf of the victim’s daughter, who said in part, “Today, my sister, my brother, and I, carry on with our lives because our mom raised all of us to be strong. But it’s so hard some days when even watching someone casually drink a glass of beer reminds me of her death. When someone tells a ‘drunk’ story they thought was humorous, or when I make a left turn on to a street, just like my mom did, also reminds me of her death. Then there are other days that are difficult because my mom was not here to see my brother graduate high school or start college. She wasn’t here to see me get married or see my sister perform in concerts.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Alison Gyves prosecuted this case.