The People vs. Ana Reepen (case number NF437696): After victim impact statements, attorneys' arguments on aggravating and mitigating factors, and a brief tearful statement by the defendant expressing her remorse, Judge Elizabeth Hill this morning sentenced Ana Reepen to six years in state prison, the mid-range of possible sentences. Reepen, appearing in County Jail-issued orange jumpsuit with wrists and feet shackled, will receive credit for one month served. She also was ordered to pay several thousand dollars in court fines and forfeits her driver's license. For the charges Reepen was convicted of, California law specifies either probation or state prison. Judge Hill deemed the facts warranted prison time. California law then specifies four years incarceration for mitigating circumstances, 10 years for aggravating circumstances, and six years for mid-range. Those were Judge Hill's only options. Main aggravating factors:
-- blood alcohol count of 0.21 percent (more than 2-1/2 times the legal limit)
-- extreme impact of Bruce Bernor's death on family and friends
-- defendant's failure to acknowledge and address her alcohol problem
Reepen faced three felony charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, resulting from the Highway 1 head-on collision that killed Pacifican Bruce Ross Bernor. Reepen had pleaded not guilty and remained free on $250,000 bail, but upon conviction, bail was doubled to $500,000 and she was taken into custody. The jury found her guilty on July 27. The two counts of felony DUI related to Reepen having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.15 and inflicting great bodily injury or death in the commission of the offense. Turning the wrong way from Sea Bowl Lane, she drove southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 1 on July 25, 2015. Her car and Bernor's car collided there. (Follow this thread at the Comments link below. Join the conversation if you have constructive comments to add. Our thanks to Alan Wald for carefully following this court case and reporting on it for Riptide.)
Caltrans finally extended the guardrails along both sides of Highway 1 at the San Pedro Creek Bridge. We editorialized for this safety improvement when the new bridge first opened, so we are glad to see it getting done. Better late than never. See the above press release for details. Next, we need Caltrans to clean up the weeds and debris alongside Highway 1 going up to the tunnels. It's a real mess, and it endangers life and limb for motorists and bicyclists on that sloppy stretch of highway.
Late Monday night, a motorist on Sharp Park Road at Skyline reported that a reckless driver was weaving in and out of traffic and "flipping off other drivers," according to Pacifica Police. Alan Wald wonders when "flipping off" became official law enforcement terminology.
Pacifica Police Captain Joseph Spanheimer says: "Two officers responded to the reporting party's call and were unable to find the man with the knife. The circumstances were documented in an incident report: 11:15 a.m. at 08-24-2016 It appears that the man said he had the knife in case a dog came near him. At no time did the man remove the knife or brandish it in a threatening manner. No crime appears to have been committed and the man's identity remains unknown at the time."
The family had just moved from Pacifica to Lower Lake in June. Then local teen rock band The Boys did a benefit concert for the fire victims.