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Interview with Roxie and Jaime

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Roxie: On 01/02/1998, I was responsible for the death of 4 people when I chose to drive while drunk. I was remanded to jail on 06/30/98, tho not yet charged. I pled no contest and was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on 08/27/98. Was sentenced to 15-years to life and transferred to Valley State Prison for Women in September, 1998.
Jaime: Booked into jail, fingerprinted, mugshots, dressed down, taken from holding cell to an actual pod after several hours. Given a mattress and bedding. The pod was overcrowded and several people were sleeping on the floor. Arraignment was the next day. I had a public attorney appointed and was given my next court date. At my next court date i entered the courtroom thinking i was being charged with 13 counts and left charged with 27. The prosicutor was seeking an exceptional sentence(above the usual sentencing range) i had several more court dates and a hired attorney. I fought the exceptional sentence. Eventually when they gave me an offer of a plea bargain(36 months prison to plead guilty to 8 counts, all property crimes) i accepted it.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Roxie: No, I was investigated primarily by the California Highway Patrol. I was hospitalized for some time after the crash. They came to the hospital on more than one occasion. After my release, I would go to them for interviews while they conducted their investigation. I appeared in court on 06/30/98 for a violation of probation as I was on probation for a prior DUI when the crash happened. The judge, being informed that I had not yet been charged, remanded me to jail. I was charged while in jail. The CHP were very supportive, and sympathetic. They told me they did not believe I was a 'flight risk' and assured me on numerous occasions that, once their investigation was complete, they would contact me and have me come into the CHP office where I would be formally arrested. They did not want my children to see me arrested, nor did I.
Jaime: Yes, local police, and federal officers stopped by on a few different occasions before i was arrested. They also stopped by and pulled me out of my cell for questioning a few times at various hours. Each time i told them i no nothing. I knew i was going to be arrested for about 3 months, ever since they took stuff into evidence, that it was just a matter of time. Eventually they came and arrested me.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Roxie: To be perfectly honest, I do not have a lot of memory about my court appearances. As I pled no contest, there was not a trial. My court appearances were few. The first one, of course, was scary and confusing, as I appeared in muni court, and was transferred to Superior Court where I was remanded. I had attempted to inform the muni court previously of the impending charges, but the told me they weren't concerned. So, when I went that day for the violation, I believed an arraignment would be set, I would be assigned a Public Defender and return at a later date to be charged. Appearing in court each time in an orange jumpsuit, I began to feel inhuman - a cross between invisible and a flashing red light, if that makes any sense. It definitely was surreal; like being in a TV movie. Everything I knew and believed shifted to the unknown. Though it seemed we would wait hours for our appearance, the actual court time passed very quickly. I never really believed I was heard in court (though I was definitely pleading guilty or no contest), it all happened 'around me'. I wanted to let my victims' family know sorry I was, and to allow them to be heard as well. It didn't seem like that happened. It seemed like the victims were actually left out of the whole process, and were victimized once again.
Jaime: Waiting nervously in a holding cell with other inmates waiting to be called before a judge. Then my name was called and i knew the prosacutor was recomending only 36 months(and restitution and post prison supervision etc.), but that the judge by no means had to follow that recomendation. The judge gave a lengthy lecture before sentencing me. She said(im totally paraphrasing this) that i deserve a much longer sentence and at first there wa no way she was going to only sentence me to 36 months, but upon further consideration, she realized people like me always get out and do the same things again. She said that when i get out ill eventually get caught and then she will sentence me to such a long time ill have grandkids when i get out.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Roxie: There was original discussion of first degree murder, then 2nd degree murder. Although I had informed my PD I was pleading guilty, no matter what (because I was absolutely guilty of driving while drunk and causing death), the DA offered one count of 291.5 (Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while intoxicated, with prior DUIs) which carried a sentence of 15-years to life. They could have charged me with 4 counts and ran them consecutively, they said.
Jaime: Identity theft Possession stolen property Forgery (these are all property crimes, but shortly before this identity theft was reclassified as a person to person crime) I was charged on a state level, then the feds were going to take over and didnt at the last minute

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