A Menifee man who pleaded guilty in June to driving drunk during a crash that killed a Hemet woman was sentenced Monday to one year in a treatment program and five years’ probation.
Ryan Nicholas Mahan, 20, received his sentence at the Southwest Justice Center after Judge Elaine Johnson heard nearly two hours of statements, often tearful, from family and friends of the victim, Ella Anne Jefferson, 69, and from supporters of the defendant.
Mahan apologized to members of Jefferson’s family, including Milford Jefferson, 82, Ella Jefferson’s husband of 38 years, and their daughter, Heather Jefferson.
“I hope the Jefferson family can find it in their hearts to forgive me,” Mahan said. “I am truly sorry for all the pain and sorrow I have caused everyone.”
Mahan faced up to 10 years behind bars, authorities said, for causing the Dec. 26, 2011, crash that claimed the life of the retired schoolteacher.
John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney, said his office was very disappointed with the sentence handed down by Johnson.
“We believe very strongly this is a prison case,” Hall said.
He said district attorney’s officials had recommended at least a four-year prison sentence for Mahan.
“I know the family of the victim is also very disappointed,” Hall said.