Low Double Fatal DUI Sentence Has Families Furious

There are 20 comments on the News10 Sacramento story from Aug 20, 2007, titled Low Double Fatal DUI Sentence Has Families Furious. In it, News10 Sacramento reports that:

Contrary to a probation report which urged a higher sentence, a Sacramento judge accepted a plea deal giving a suspected drunk driving killer a sentence lower than prescribed by sentencing law.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at News10 Sacramento.

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kalli

Sacramento, CA

#44 Aug 22, 2007
Uhmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
Thats funny (wierd), Because I was thinking about this story in bed last night. How would I feel if it was my kid. Another story came to mind. A girl was called by a "friend" who said she needed a ride somewhere. She went to give the ride an found out the "friend" and her boyfriend had murdered somebody over a drug deal. The girl fearing for her own life gave them the ride to move the body and she too was arrested. Accessory to murder. She commited a crime, but it was out of fear for her own life and the life of her unborn child. She has to serve 10 years, yes 10. She also lost her baby as part of her sentence. She felt if she left they would kil her too. This story made me think how stupid it is that a guy can kill toe people and serve less time than a girl who did nothing. Life is crazy!!!
I have heard this story before and I still believe it now like how I believed it a while back ago when i first heard it... the justice system is broken. thinking about both of these stories i can't help but wonder, if the law is suppose to be black and white with no shades in between, then why did that rule not apply to that women and yet not Dimitras. Dimitras got a lighter sentencing BECAUSE HE WAS "YOUNG." IMO if they're not going to apply the "grey shades" to all cases such as that women then they shouldn't apply the grey shades to this case.
kalli

Sacramento, CA

#45 Aug 22, 2007
I'm sorry i meant to say, why did the rule that the law is black and white apply to the woman accused of being an accomplished and yet not to Dimitras...
Bill Johnson

Folsom, CA

#46 Aug 22, 2007
Rational Thinker wrote:
Unfair sentence? You bet.
Two lives were destroyed. And now "The system" has upped that count to three. This was NOT a case of some wayward drunk plowing down a bunch of uninvolved bystanders. It was a car full of friends, out for a day at the river, that ended horribly wrong. Don't misunderstand, my heart goes out to the lost lives cut tragically short, but at the core this was simply a tragic ACCIDENT. Throw in a bit of alcohol and an under-21 driver, and everyone loses sight that this was - I'll say it again - an ACCIDENT. As we look at things now, and mourn the loss of two promising youth, tell me what is served by throwing away the life of a third? These were all friends, out partying together.
I just can't imagine that Kendall or Brian would want to extend their personal tragedies by seeing their friend Michael also destroyed. In this
particular case, Society has not bettered itself, or protected itself, by imposing this sentence.
What a waste - now THREE times over.
Well said and articulated I agree..... for the most part.
peace

Yuba City, CA

#47 Aug 23, 2007
This accident was a huge tragedy for all of those in the car, and those that were close to them. I knew a few of them personally and I know that they are all good people. Having experienced what it's like to be out of your first year of college and to possess that feeling of invincibility, I can guess that none of them would have thought something of this magnitude could have happened. They are/were all intelligent people and should have made better decisions, and obviously everyone understands that.

Dimitras probably told the judge that he didn't know that he didn't know he would have his licensed revoked for life because he was not made aware of it prior to being told in court, not because he is a "spoiled brat" as some have deemed it necessary to tag him.

I pray that the families and friends of the victims will find peace, as well as Mike himself, because he has to live with the fact that he is responsible for the death of two of his friends, which I know affects him dramatically.
rip kendall and brian

Sacramento, CA

#48 Aug 24, 2007
ok so the story. the crash happens. kendall was killed, and brian. all mike cared about was his dui. got his spleen removed, went out and drank that night. doesnt even care about what he did. doesnt call the families write them anything to apologize. cares more about getting his license taken away. he is only getting a little over 6 years. only 8 months for each kendall and brian being killed. but 3 years for injuring one. im sorry that is complete bullsh*t. these kids both went to UC's were smart and talented kids and they didnt even make it past 20. e should get taken away from him your most important years in life, your 20s and 30s. but he didnt.

miss you kendall and brian.
CREWBOSS

AOL

#49 Aug 25, 2007
He should get 25 years for this crime....

http://journals.aol.com/sacramentoblog/sacram...
Friend of all

Seal Beach, CA

#50 Aug 26, 2007
Having seen your report about the DUI case regarding Michael Dimitras, I was stunned at the lack of impartial reporting about this case. Why didn't you report that Michael's father went to the homes of the victims and tried to let them know how devestated he and his son were? He was turned away. Why was it not reported that Michael has tried to contact these families several times through the apporopriate channels and was called a killer that should have nothing to say. All remorse was ignored by these families. I can tell you that this case has rocked our small community. We have been friends of all of these kids since they were in elementary school. Why was it not reported that ALL of these kids had been drinking and that NONE of these kids were wearing a seat belt? They all made a mistake that awful day. Michael is a wonderful human being. He is not a monster like you make him out to be. He IS paying the price of his crime. He has never backed away from that. We also do not agree that Michael should never have a California drivers license. When he is released from prison, we should allow him to have the tools to become a productive member of our society. He is just a guy, who made a terrible mistake.
Productive Member

Sacramento, CA

#51 Aug 27, 2007
Friend of all wrote:
Having seen your report about the DUI case regarding Michael Dimitras, I was stunned at the lack of impartial reporting about this case. Why didn't you report that Michael's father went to the homes of the victims and tried to let them know how devestated he and his son were? He was turned away. Why was it not reported that Michael has tried to contact these families several times through the apporopriate channels and was called a killer that should have nothing to say. All remorse was ignored by these families. I can tell you that this case has rocked our small community. We have been friends of all of these kids since they were in elementary school. Why was it not reported that ALL of these kids had been drinking and that NONE of these kids were wearing a seat belt? They all made a mistake that awful day. Michael is a wonderful human being. He is not a monster like you make him out to be. He IS paying the price of his crime. He has never backed away from that. We also do not agree that Michael should never have a California drivers license. When he is released from prison, we should allow him to have the tools to become a productive member of our society. He is just a guy, who made a terrible mistake.
First of all the Investigator of this case told the families of the victim's that their blood alchol level was 0.00%. Secondly, when Dimitras' father came to visit the Lui family he was very well received by Kendall's uncle, bet you didnt know that did you? Also while talking to Kenny'd uncle he also expressed his feelings of how he would've beaten his son if the CHP officers weren't there. I just wanted to point that out to you. Also you can still be a productive member of society w/o a driver's liscense. Believe it or not it's called PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Any idiot can use it and guess what many people do! omg who would've thought that people w/o their driver's liscense can still get from point A to point B by not driving! That's the problem with people like you, you don't seem to realize there are more than one option in life that can work just as well. Dimitras' should count his blessings that the State of California justice system in regards to DUIs and murdering people are so lenient. He still gets out of prison at a young age and still live a normal life, and thats more that can be said about Kendall and Brian.
Missing the Point

Foothill Ranch, CA

#52 Aug 27, 2007
You're all missing the point here. All you who thinks the dirtbag Dimitras should get a break...just wait until he gets out of jail, drinks, drives (illegally) you and/or your friends, gets into a DUI "accident" (as you've all seem inclined to say), with him as the "designated" driver and you don't survive. Would YOUR friends defend Dimitras? Come man, as our good man Friday would say, "Just the facts, ma'am...just the facts." Fact: First place, Dimitras is underage. Drinking illegally. Even had a blood alcohol level over .8 (past the legal limit). Was speeding 75 miles in a 45 mile zone. Crashes the car and kills 2 people. Almost maims a third passenger (broken neck). Injures himself and a 4th passenger. Can you all who "defend" this dirtbag not add? You call this an "accident"? If this was an accident, I'd sure hate to see what your description of an actual murder would be.
IT WAS AN ACCIDENT

Citrus Heights, CA

#53 Sep 13, 2007
Mike, Kendall, and Brian were some of my VERY good friends in high school and I hang out with Mike all the time.
There is no WAY in hell that Brian and Kendall would want this for Mike. Kendall was a friend of Mike's but Brian and Mike did EVERYTHING together.(something that the news won't report)
I KNOW for a fact that this was an accident and Mike's entire life is completely ruined by this. When he talks about the accident he doesn't talk about how it sucks that he has to spend so much time in jail. He talks about how HORRIBLE he feels. Prison time is nothing to him compared to the guilt he will experience for the rest of his life.
So No...YOUR MISSING THE POINT. Maybe you should think before calling him a "dirtbag" and a killer.
Vish

United States

#54 Mar 27, 2009
I have known Mike in the recent years while he is in custody. They cal him the professor in prison. He is a gentle human being ( maybe changed by prsion for good!). I sincerely wish he does he very diligently serves fellow human beings all his life and atones for his mistake. I really do believe this is a great story of redemption waiting to unravel.
compassion

Sacramento, CA

#55 Jul 4, 2009
This is a story of loss, pain and suffering for everyone involved. My heart aches for all of the families involved and every friend that feels the loss also. I pray for peace for the Haight family, Lui family, and Mike Dimitras and family. Suffering of this nature is a burden that words cannot properly articulate; clergy and philosophers have filled librarys with possible explanations and ways to cope with such suffering. But, worse than being the one to suffer such horror is to be the one to carry bitterness.....it is said to destroy. May God have mercy on all involved and in the end may love be the answer.
userrich1

Benicia, CA

#56 Jul 28, 2009
Dimitras is not a scumbag. He is a young man who made a terrible error in judgment, and he is paying the price for it: six and one-third years in a state prison. Nineteen-year-olds make poor decisions every day. Neal's story was well written but perhaps a bit self-serving.("I was concerned that he was drinking vodka." "I offered to drive." "I told him to slow down.") He acts as though the ticket received by the person who bought him the booze was harassment. As far as I'm concerned, when Dimitras is released from prison in the next decade he has paid his debt to society. God bless the young man and woman who tragically lost their lives.
Alan Smithee

Yuba City, CA

#57 Aug 6, 2009
I just read this story in the News & Review, and have to say I'm disgusted at the amount of sympathy for those involved. When I was in college, I didn't drink- not just because I wasn't supposed to, but also because it just plain tastes awful and isn't worth all the trouble it causes. People thought I wasn't "cool" because of that.

This whole story has stupidity written all over it- they couldn't have a good time on the river without booze, then going home not only does the guy drive while drunk, but goes 70 MILES PER HOUR IN A 45 ZONE??? That's just blatant idiocy.

Before these kids were even born, there were stories all over the place about this sort of thing happening, and tons of "education" to get kids not to do it, but they STILL do it! I guess they really do have to get hurt really bad before they learn their lesson.

The good thing about this story is they didn't hit anyone else who was driving sober. I wouldn't feel the least bit sorry for Mike (the driver) if he'd been killed; he deserves every minute of prison time and I hope it's miserable for him. I'm sure he'd had plenty of warnings before this happened, but just laughed it off because it's cool to drink and drive fast and if you don't do that you're a loser. I bet this story's been shown to tons of high school classes since it happened, and then most of those kids will go get drunk soon afterwards. There should be a way to remove these people from the gene pool beforehand.
Anon

San Jose, CA

#58 Oct 30, 2009
Alan you probably weren't cool and it's incredible how out of touch you remain. "they couldn't have a good time on the river without booze"...this is such a cop-out. It's like if someone dies of a heart attack and you say "they couldn't have a good time without cheeseburgers," when it's really a case of exercising intelligence and moderation.

You have very little experience under the influence, so you have no way of judging how a .09 effects someone (from a vision standpoint, low, and not enough to impare judgement).

So the bottom line is this had nothing to do with alcohol affecting decision-making. He made a choice to SPEED, it was a DRIVING accident caused by the speed (and the roadway, which if I remember correctly was narrow and bumpy before they repaved it), and alcohol was merely peripheral, if involved at all, in the process. sure it's tragic, but to view it from that standpoint, and to view drinking from such a standpoint, is just wrong-headed.
andy

Sacramento, CA

#59 Apr 7, 2010
Uhmmm wrote:
I think the sentence is okay. If people are stupid enough to get into the car with a drunk person, they are also at fault for a stupid decision. I understand that he was supposed to be the designated driver, but when they saw him drinking they should have call mom.
I mean no disrespect to the family, its just why I see the sentence to be enough. Had he killed somebody in a different car, I may feel differently.
the mothers of both the kids who were killed in this accident came to my highschool today and told their stories. they said, according to reports, michael dimitras told everyone there he was fine, hadnt been drinking, and was the 'designated driver.' and because he was a practiced drinker, he seemed sober. so get the facts straight before you go calling their poor innocent children "stupid."
Userrich1

Edwardsville, IL

#60 Apr 7, 2010
I applaud the mothers of Kendall and Brian for their efforts to curb drunk driving. And Kendall and Brian IN NO WAY are responsible for their tragic demise. Neal said in his story that when they walked back to the car at the end of the float trip, Dimitris seemed fine. But please remember, and like I've said before in this forum, 19-year-olds make stupid decisions every day. And tragically, Dimitras' poor judgment led to the death of two exceptionally fine young people. But not that long ago, a BAC of .09 would have been LEGAL in CA. What would have been the charges to Dimitris THEN? He reportedly "clipped" the center median. I have been to the scene of the accident. The center median is intermittent. In some places there is a median, in others there is not. Inattention due to a car load of young people jamming to the stereo could have caused this accident as easily as Dimitris being barely over the BAC limit. Youthful exuberance could have been the cause of the excessive speed. My point is this: Dimitris presently sits in Folsom State Prison. Have you ever SEEN that place, let alone been inside?? He's going to serve over SIX YEARS of his life there, in total terror I'm sure. Six years! Try to imagine the horror of being a 19-year-old being sent to a rough state correctional facility with hardened criminals. It's not like he's getting off scott free. He has his conscious to live with, having killed two of his friends unintentionally, one of whom he took to the prom in high school. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve his punishment. But he is a convicted felon for the rest of his life, forever branded, never again permitted to drive a motor vehicle. My feeling is that when he gets out of prison in a couple of years, he's been adequately punished. May God bless Kendal and Brian.
Joseph

Sacramento, CA

#61 Apr 8, 2010
Bill Johnson wrote:
<quoted text>
Well said and articulated I agree..... for the most part.
It's a choice to drink while driving. You don't "accidentally" drink then drive...that's all I have to say.
brewed

Concord, CA

#63 Mar 10, 2013
I was one of the FF/emts working this call. My ambulance was first to show up to the scene coming from the old Sac Metro Station 32 in Fair Oaks. I've been on a lot of calls in my career, many forgotten, a few remembered. This was one of the few. It was a gruesome scene to say the least, and the details are still fresh in my mind. The lifeless bodies upon looking into the vehicle, they were contorted in an unimagineable way. My partner immediately took a pulse of a girl and boy, and said without hesitation "they're dead." It was apparent nobody in the SUV was wearing a seatbelt as the bodies had been flung towards the rear of the vehicle (had they been, the outcome might have been different). My partner and I tended to Mike, who surprisingly, was in the best condition out of all the kids (ejected upon impact and hardly a scratch on him). Alcohol on his breath, we made him get on the backboard, c-spined him down, and carted him off. Inside the ambulance he repeatedly asked, "Am I going to jail?" Out of the fatal car accidents I have seen, alcohol has been a reoccurring theme in almost all of them. In addition, like this accident, not wearing a seatbelt diminishes the chances of survivability exponentially.
Brian Criswell

Auburn, CA

#64 Mar 10, 2013
Drunk AND no seatbelts? That's Darwinism in action for you! I'd love to see whatever photos were taken!

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