Drunk driver pleads guilty in death of Ocean Beach man
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 07/31/19 - 08:15 AM | 1354 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
Blue tinted monotone image of a gavel and scales of justice
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A drunk driver has pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of Justin Callahan, of Ocean Beach.

Lauren Ashley Freeman, 23, faces up to 11 years and eight months in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans on Monday.

Callahan, 35, was killed Feb. 26, 2018 and investigators initially believed he got onto a freeway transition ramp the wrong way from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and collided with Freeman’s Toyota Camry.

The California Highway Patrol initially thought Callahan was at fault, but they reversed their earlier finding and Freeman was charged in November 2018.

A murder charge was dismissed against Freeman by San Diego Superior Court Judge Runston Maino after she pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. She also pleaded guilty to drunk driving on July 26.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 27 and Freeman remains in jail without bail.

Freeman caused the 1:55 a.m. crash by driving the wrong way on a ramp between Interstate 8 and I-5.

Callahan’s brother, Tommy Villafranca, said his brother clocked out at 1:30 a.m. at his job in Chula Vista and was on northbound Interstate 5 while driving home when his car was struck.

Evans previously said in court that Freeman’s blood/alcohol level was .28, which is three times the legal limit.

Freeman had been drinking in Ocean Beach before the crash and disregarded four warning signs that she was entering the freeway the wrong way, said Evans.

Evans said Freeman previously worked as a server at an East County casino and she was taught a course about serving alcoholic drinks.

Evans added that Freeman had a relationship with someone who was later charged with DUI.

Freeman’s case was sent last week to Maino’s courtroom for trial which had been set for Aug. 12.

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Robert Burns
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August 01, 2019
I wonder who served her obviously drunk and how the alcohol industry can sleep at night unconstitutionally exempted from liability for its wrongdoing.

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