Couple sentenced in hit-and-run

The husband and wife convicted in the hit-and-run that killed one USC student and seriously injured another will serve the maximum sentence in state prison, a judge said before a packed courtroom Monday.

Friends and family of Adrianna Bachan, the USC freshman who was killed in a hit-and-run last March, filled the courtroom in Downtown Los Angeles to hear the sentencing of Claudia Cabrera and Josue Luna, whose Infiniti struck Bachan and fellow student Marcus Garfinkle near the intersection of Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard on March 29, 2009.

Cabrera, who was driving the car, was sentenced to eight years in prison. Luna, the car’s passenger, will serve seven years. Authorities say Luna pulled Garfinkle from the hood of the car after the crash and left him on the side of the road, severely injured.

In sentencing the couple, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry said, “The actions of the defendants on March 29th of 2009 were outrageous and shocking.”

Perry denied the defense’s request that the two serve shorter terms. He said the couple tried to evade responsibility by lying to police and covering up the crime. He called their actions “extremely callous.”

During Monday’s hearing, Luna and Cabrera said they were sorry for their actions and wanted to apologize to Bachan’s family as well as Garfinkle and his family.

“We are truly sorry for the great pain we caused you,” Luna said, addressing Bachan’s family.

Speaking to Garfinkle, who also spoke at the hearing, Luna said, “I know your life has changed completely. My plan was never to let you die there or toss you.”

Garfinkle said in court Monday that his injuries have made it difficult for him even to walk to class without pain medication. He said he has titanium rods in his legs and is expecting to undergo more surgeries. The Los Angeles Times reports that Garfinkle’s family is currently fighting the health insurance company over about $200,000 worth of medical bills.

“My life is forever changed and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Garfinkle said. “I am helpless.”

Like Luna, Cabrera also expressed remorse, saying that although the crash was an accident, she was ashamed of herself for not taking responsibility and for lying to the police.

The prosecution alleged that Cabrera, when questioned, tried to blame her husband and did not admit responsibility. Additionally, the prosecution said the pair tried to cover up the crime by having the car’s windshield fixed before towing the vehicle to Mexico.

“My actions that night do not reflect the person that I am,” she said. “I am not a monster … I hope that all of you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and my husband.”

But Carmen Bachan, Adrianna’s mother, told reporters she is serving a “life sentence.”

“I will never, ever, ever forgive them,” Bachan said. “I don’t have that capacity in me, I’m sorry to say.”

Cabrera was arrested April 2 based on a tip police received following the announcement of a large monetary reward for information leading to a conviction. Luna was arrested April 18 as he was crossing into the United States from Mexico. In March, both pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of an accident. Cabrera also pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

11 replies
  1. tjay
    tjay says:

    To USC “Alumni”-
    Nice try pulling the race card.
    Our Parents + Grandparents filled out all the necessary papers & CAME HERE LEGALLY .
    Many of them had to wait several years.
    Keep YOUR illegal racial crap to yourself.

    And why wouldn’t these fleeing mexicans stay put & try to improve their homeland ?
    Can’t they make their country better by staying there & working things out?
    Why do they have to suck the life out of our country because they’re too lazy to improve their own???
    Admit it “alumnus”…. Brown or White…they’re nothing but TRAITORS.

  2. USC Alumni
    USC Alumni says:

    To uh:

    Don’t start racial crap here. Before thinking about throwing all the mexicans out of the country, ask your great grand parents where have they come from 100 years ago.

  3. fair
    fair says:

    “I know your life has changed completely. My plan was never to let you die there or toss you.” Sounds like one of those touching moments in a movie. The justice system is a joke! Lily Burke’s killer dodges capital punishment after her throat was slashed and head beaten to death.

    Bleeding heart libs: “you don’t know what these people (perpetrators of egregious, violent crimes) went through. Don’t you know that they got the short end of the stick, thus it shaped their detrimental paths in life? What they did wasn’t something evil, but no, rather a flaw in society.”

    Capital punishment needs to be implemented more frequently, especially for those whose crimes are unspeakable.

  4. Be mature
    Be mature says:

    Parent: Neither of them were illegal immigrants. Don’t jump to conclusions and make immature statements about their backround…

    I do agree that 7/8 years in prison is way too soft and easy, especially when they were trying to hard to cover up their heinous crimes. Although I do not believe that they deserve life, death, or as torture (-____-) they should have at least gotten 20 years. But in the end, I am just glad they were caught and punished for their actions.

  5. lulu
    lulu says:

    First of all these people were not ilegals. What difference does it make what race they are? What, if they had been white, everything they did would’ve been ok? And that is exactly who she is; a monster, an animal she does not feel guilt for what she has done in her sick little mind she is the victim. Good luck when this one gets out.

  6. uh
    uh says:

    Oh right, parent…we should get rid of all of the Mexicans in this country regardless of whether they’re legal or not….

  7. parent
    parent says:

    Should have thrown them both in the electric bleachers and thrown the switch! If they did that t my daughter I would have shot both of them in cold blood! The law is way to liberal. I feel l like Arizona may be on to something.

    • Thomas
      Thomas says:

      I think you should torture them first too. Oh wait, thats just barbaric and would never give you your child back. Hmmm…maybe it takes maturity to realize that revenge is often meaningless?

      • fair
        fair says:

        Well, when your loved one is hit by a car going 60 mph+ like a bowling pin, and you watch her body become grossly disfigured, she’s in a coma, and she’s barely breathing on a life support machine, then you tell me how “revenge doesn’t solve anything.” Do you know about Lily Burke? When your 17 year old daughter’s throat is slashed mulitple times, and her head beaten to the point where the white of her skull becomes exposed, then you explain to me how “revenge doesn’t solve anything.”

        How about I get a baseball bat and take homerun swings at your head until your skull cracks open and your pieces of your brain start falling out? I’ll demonstrate my “contrition” in front of your loved ones, and I hope they forgive me. That’s how you see it right?

  8. Dino
    Dino says:

    7/8 yrs ? That is outrageous! Something is terribly wrong here-they deserve lifetime sentences.

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