Orange County Widower Confronts Wife’s DUI Killer – NBC LA

A woman from Garden Grove who had previously been convicted three times for drunk driving was handed the highest possible sentence of 15 years to life on Friday in a Santa Ana courtroom. The judge sentenced Courtney Fritz Pandolfi, 44, who ran over and killed Yesenia Aguilar, a 23-year old woman who was 8 months pregnant. The physicians were able to save her baby through an emergency C-section. The child, now 3 years old, was present at the sentencing.

James Alvarez directly addressed Pandolfi, expressing his struggle of raising a daughter and attempting to fill the void left by his wife’s death. Alvarez, the husband of Aguilar and father of three-year-old Adalyn Rose, had awaited this moment for almost four years. The prosecution argued that Pandolfi was under the influence of a mixture of drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, when she hit Aguilar during a late-night stroll in August 2020.

Alvarez spoke about the loss of a mother while also acknowledging the miracle they gained. Presenting his daughter, Adalyn Rose, at the stand, he emphasized the likeness she holds to his wife and the life Pandolfi ruined.

Family members had the chance to address Pandolfi directly. Meanwhile, the public heard from Pandolfi for the first time, who expressed her deepest apologies and admitted to the effects of her selfish actions on the family.

The district attorney for Orange County, Todd Spitzer, talked about the severe consequences of drunk driving following the sentencing. The district attorney’s office further explained that convicted drunk drivers in California must receive a Watson advisement, which warns them about murder charges if their drunk driving results in death. Pandolfi had received this advisement three times, once for every conviction for driving under the influence of drugs in 2008, 2015, and 2016.

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