Local News

Sep 13, 2010 3:29 PM by Ariel Wesler

Sentencing expected for driver in fatal DUI crash

A judge is expected to decide the fate of a Santa Maria man accused of killing one passenger and seriously injuring another late New Year's Day. Cody Stutts, 21, pled no contest last month to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of Damian Coles, 21, and driving under the influence, injuring Nathan Beebe, 23.

The prosecution says Stetts is expected to be sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison.

The crash happened the night of Jan. 1 when the 1998 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Stutts veered out of control and crashed on Clark Avenue near Blosser Road in Orcutt.

Ironically, Cole had an earlier brush with death in December 2004 when he was the sole survivor of a violent wreck in Orcutt that claimed the lives of his three teenage friends.

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