Speaking at a sentencing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court today, the daughter of the victim of a Pismo Beach car crash that killed her parents last year said she lost her role models with whom she spoke every day.
Stephanie Theophilus came to the hearing from her home state of Washington and said that dealing with the loss of her parents, Bruce and Marjorie Mallin, has been "trying" and she's called on the support of friends especially to help her through.
“My parents were taken from me long before they should have been,” Theophilus said at the sentencing.Jerardo Iriarte, 20, of Oceano, was sentenced by Judge Jacquelyn Duffy to 15 years to life in prison for his no contest plea to second degree murder.
Iriarte was upset over the breakup with his girlfriend and was trying to restart the relationship.
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According to police, Iriarte drove his car through a fence while trying to harm himself. The vehicle traveled off Highway 101 and continued onto the sidewalk bordering the west curb of Price Street, where he struck Bruce Mallin, 63, and his 59-year-old wife, Marjorie.
Theophilus said her daughters, ages 6 and 9, have had their memories cut short of their grandparents. The Mallins always attended the girls’ birthdays and spent Christmas with them as well.
Her parents' life involved traveling most of the year in an RV, Theophilus said, and they’d journey across the United States and Canada for much of the year. They made annual trips to Pismo Beach for the Clam Festival, which they were attending when they were struck and killed.
Theophilus said she could picture her mom and dad holding hands, walking along the road with Marjorie on the inside and Bruce closer to the street to protect her, before the crash, which was part of their daily routine. She said they walked for exercise — as much as five or 10 miles — to help them live long lives.
Iriarte chose not to make a comment when asked by Duffy if he’d like to do so, staring with a blank expression for much of the hearing.
The judge said he’d expressed little remorse for his actions during an interview with County Probation and hoped that he’d taken in the Theophilus' statements in court.
Iriarte faced up to 30 years to life in prison in the case after being charged with two counts of second degree murder.
He pleaded no contest to one of the counts and a 15 to life sentence, which means he'll be eligible for parole after 15 years based on the discretion of state parole and the governor of California.