|For Immediate Release||For More Information Contact:|
|Date: November 27, 2017|
|Re: Loren Gene Mears||Phone: (209) 588-5450|
Sonora, California –On November 27, 2017 Loren Gene Mears, 52, was sentenced by Judge Donald Segerstrom to 15 years-to-life in state prison after he pled to Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (Penal Code section 191.5(a)), and admitted a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury (Vehicle Code section 23153). Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who prosecuted the case, indicated the following as the main facts in the case: On October 28, 2014 Mr. Mears resided in Sonora with his 92 year old father, Loren George Mears (who suffered from dementia), and wife Wendy Anne Mears. During the day Mr. Mears consumed methamphetamine, marijuana, Alprazolam and Temazepam. In the afternoon he decided to drive around in his 2001 Jeep Wrangler. His wife was in the front seat and his father in the rear seat. Mr. Mears then proceeded to drive his car on local roads at high speeds and very erratically. In fear for their safety, and noting that the elder Mears was unbelted in the back seat, Mrs. Mears pleaded with Mr. Mears to stop the car. She was unable to turn and secure the elder Mears due to the dangerous driving. She was finally able to convince Mr. Mears to stop the car to let her out, but when Mrs. Mears tried to get out he sped off again and shortly thereafter lost control of the car up an embankment on Campo Seco Road. The Wrangler overturned at least once and the elder Mears was ejected. He later died at the hospital from injuries sustained in the incident and Mrs. Mears suffered broken bones. A nearby resident to the incident reported that Mr. Mears was nearly incoherent at the scene. He was later determined to be under the influence of multiple drugs and a blood sample obtained by the California Highway Patrol turned up the aforementioned drugs in his system. The District Attorney’s Office filed an enhancement for the defendant having been previously convicted of DUI causing injury, in that case to Mrs. Mears, back in 2003.