A drunken driver who drove the wrong way on a freeway in Torrey Highlands and put another driver in a wheelchair pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to drunken driving causing serious injury.
Jennifer K. Sase, 38, of Santee, drove the wrong way on state Route 56 on April 18 at 11:25 p.m. and hit a car driven by Sayeh Solati, 61, which overturned near the exit for Camino del Sur.
Solati suffered fractures to her neck, foot, knee and two fingers, according to court records. She also suffered bleeding in the brain, and she will require a knee-replacement operation. She uses a wheelchair now because of damage to her knee.
Sase agreed to accept a one-year jail term. San Diego Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide set sentencing for Jan. 30 and state prison has been ruled out. Sase remains free on $25,000 bond.
Sase admitted she inflicted great bodily injuries to Solati. Sase’s blood-alcohol level was 0.18, twice the legal limit.
A California Highway Patrol officer smelled alcohol on her breath and she admitted to drinking before she drove.
According to the arrest warrant declaration, a CHP officer wrote that Sase didn’t know she was driving the wrong way on a freeway due to her intoxication.
— Neal Putnam
Suspect back in custody after being shot by Torrrey Pines ranger
A transient who was shot by park ranger at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve faces a Jan. 22 preliminary hearing on two felony assault charges.
Charles Dustin Collins, 29, was arraigned in his hospital bed at Scripps Memorial Hospital after he had surgery to repair a torso wound from the Dec. 13 incident.
The state park ranger heard an earlier report about a naked man in the park and confronted Collins at a tent where he was living. According to the charges, Collins came out of the tent with a knife in a threatening manner and the ranger fired a shot at him.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Peter Gallagher set bail at $100,000. Collins has denied the charges and he remains in custody.
— Neal Putnam
Students’ kidnapper to get 14-year sentence
The man who kidnapped and robbed two UCSD students in La Jolla before forcing them to drive him to Pacific Beach to escape pleaded guilty and has agreed to accept a 14-year prison term at his sentencing on Jan. 9.
Miguel Torres Espinoza, 29, of San Diego admitted to kidnapping Raymond Chung and his girlfriend, Jessica Liu, both 20, in the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy on Villa La Jolla Drive on Sept. 11 around 11 p.m.
He forced the couple to drive to their bank ATM and withdraw $420. Both students believed the gun Espinoza displayed to them was real, but it later turned out to be an air pistol.
Espinoza also stole Liu’s laptop and Chung’s wallet and cell phone. After taking the money, he demanded to be let out of the car in a residential area of Pacific Beach. The students called police, who found Espinoza running uphill on Loring Street at Soledad Mountain Road.
Espinoza pleaded guilty to two kidnapping counts and two robbery charges. He could have received two life terms on the kidnapping-for-robbery charges.
— Neal Putnam