Christopher Boyd Stockmeyer III, 41, was sentenced for the hit-and-run death of Rachel Morrison, 27, who died after she was struck in a crosswalk around 10:15 p.m. in Del Mar on March 28.
Stockmeyer drove off, but his vehicle was damaged, and his license plate fell off at the scene. Police located his vehicle outside his La Jolla apartment and arrested him. He pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit and run in April.
Morrison was about to get her marine biology doctorate from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Her family, fiancé, and friends spoke about her life.
“I replay seeing Rachel flying through the air, limbs hitting like a rag doll,” said Rebecca Williams, who was uninjured while walking with Morrison that night. “Rachel hit a stop sign and landed 120 feet from where you struck her in a crosswalk.”
“Unfortunately, no punishment can ever change the fact that you have taken away the love of my life,” said Jesper Mortensen, Morrison's fiance.
“Rachel was driven to help improve the health of the oceans, the environment and the earth as a whole,” said her brother, John Morrison Jr. “Stockmeyer is the one person responsible for the loss of a truly great person, my beautiful sister Rachel.”
Vista Superior Court Judge Michael Popkins could have sentenced Stockmeyer to a maximum 15-year term, but he explained 11-year sentence decision. “I asked myself,” he said: “What would Rachel want?”
Citing Morrison’s deep compassion for others, Popkins said this: “She would tell me to follow the probation officer’s recommendation and give her killer the 11 years because he did plead guilty and acknowledged his wrongdoing at an early stage of the proceedings and before that he had no prior record.”
Stockmeyer, dressed in blue jail clothes, said, “I am filled with sorrow and remorse. I am repentant to God, and I will think about Rachel every minute every day…
“I am eternally sorry for what I have done, the pain I have caused. I am horrified that my actions caused this absolute terrible tragedy,” said Stockmeyer.
Stockmeyer was given 152 days of jail credit.