District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell announced today that Violeta Chacon Cervantes was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the death of Scott Kenneth Brunton. Cervantes was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. Assistant District Attorney Alex Byers prosecuted the case.
On December 11, 2016 at approximately 8:40 p.m. Cervantes, who was driving while under the influence of both methadone and Valium, struck and killed Brunton. At the time Brunton was biking with a friend on Freedom Boulevard. Immediately following the collision, Cervantes fled the scene driving northbound on Freedom. Officers from the California Highway Patrol were immediately dispatched and apprehended Cervantes approximately six miles away.
Upon contact, Cervantes was uncooperative and displayed objective symptoms of drug intoxication, and during the investigation she “nodded off” or fell asleep. She has a history of abusing controlled substances and was a patient at a local methadone clinic at the time of this tragedy. She was also on probation for several misdemeanor offenses including a 2014 conviction in Monterey County for driving while impaired.
Numerous people, including Brunton’s father, mother, sister, and fiancée, attended the emotional sentencing hearing. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in California alone over 900 individuals lost their lives to impaired drivers in 2016, an increase of over 4% from the previous year.
Byers said, “The defendant is being held fully accountable for her actions and decisions. Our office feels that justice has truly been served for the victim and his family, and that our community will be safer as a result of this sentence.”