An Orange County Court has found a Westminster guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced him to between 15years to life after driving under the influence of alcohol and got into an accident that killed a friend.
My News L.A. reports that 32-year-old Jonathan Aaron Samoff was sentenced on Friday for his role in the March 8, 2014 crash that killed his friend, 25-year-old Isais Tang.
According to court, documents police received a call at 2:54 a.m. to the intersection of Oasis Avenue and Magnolia Street, where a Toyota Camry belonging to Tang had crashed into a wall. Samoff had allegedly pulled Tang out of the vehicle and left his friend on the curb to die.
Samoff then went to his father’s home, where his aunt noticed that he had a fresh head wound. She took him to a local hospital where blood was drawn. The test found that Samoff had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 – nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Investigators found Samoff’s DNA on the driver’s side airbag with Tang’s on the passenger side. Eyewitnesses told investigators that they saw a man in a hoodie pull Tang’s body from the car.
After the crash, Samoff reportedly fled the state and was later arrested in Nebraska.
Prior to the fatal crash, Samoff had a history of driving under the influence. A judge had warned him years earlier that if he got into an accident while under the influence, he would likely be charged with vehicular homicide.
Tang’s mother, Saray Corte, addressed Orange County Superior Court Judge Sheila Hanson in a victim’s statement saying, “If you could have met my son, you would have fallen in love with him. Everybody loved him. He was just an amazing person.”
In June, an earlier trial for Samoff ended with a deadlocked jury when 11 of the 12 jurors voted to convict. Eugene Sung, legal counsel for Samoff, said that his client had tried to write a statement but could not do so.
“He wanted me to convey to the family how truly sorry he is.”, Sung said, addressing the court.