Melissa Brigette Brown, the 23-year-old Canyon Country woman accused of driving into a crowd gathered to watch a fireworks show on July 4, 2010, which resulted in the death of Newhall mother Matilda Garnica, pleaded no contest today.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Quinones said Brown pleaded to one count of vehicular manslaughter. An infraction for failure to stop at a red light was dismissed.
Prosecutors considered Brown’s previous dangerous driving citations. Read the details about them here.
Brown is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 9 in Department E of San Fernando Superior Court. She faces up to six years in state prison.
After running a red light on Valencia Boulevard, Brown collided with another vehicle in front of the Islands restaurant and lost control of her car, which careened into a crowd of spectators gathered to watch a fireworks display. Garnica, who was on the sidewalk with some of her children and neighbors, was killed instantly. Several others sustained minor injuries.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.