Woman who live-streamed DUI crash expected an early release, says former attorney

Local News

LOS BANOS, California (KSEE) – Just over a week ago, Obdulia Sanchez was released from prison serving less than 2 years of her 6-year term.

Sanchez was sentenced for 6 years and 2 months on February 14, 2018, for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, an enhancement for causing bodily injury/death to more than one victim, and abuse/endanger the health of a child.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the sentencing court gave her 404 days of pre-sentence credits for the time she served awaiting sentencing and 10 days for the time she spent waiting for transportation to prison. She also received credits for completing rehab programs while incarcerated.

Sanchez’s former attorney said he expected for her to be released early.

“She was pretty happy and I was too because that was the goal we had focused on,” said Ramnik Samrao.

The charges against Sanchez are from an incident on July 21, 2017. Sanchez was live-streaming on Instagram while driving her 14-year-old sister and friend to Stockton from Fresno for her sister’s confirmation ceremony. All three were singing and dancing as the car veered to the right. Sanchez overcorrected and crashed into a fence on the left side of the road. The car flipped and the two girls in the back seat were thrown from the car.

Her sister Jacqueline was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car and died from her injuries. Sanchez continued to live stream and at one point showing her sister’s lifeless body.

“I looked like a freaking horrible monster,” said Sanchez from an interview we did with her while she was in Merced County Prison. “That was not my intention at all.”

Sanchez went on to state she kept live streaming with the hope of raising enough money from her 5,000 follows for her sister’s burial. Samrao said Sanchez was able to get help through the community re-entry program and rehabilitation. He said what most do not know is she suffers trauma from being involved in foster care and being a survivor of sex trafficking.

“Nobody would be able to put that fully behind them but I hope that she is able to get some kind of peace and I hope she is able to put the other stuff behind her,” said Samrao.

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