SANTA CLARA (KRON) — A defendant who was expected to get time served after pleading no contest to charges related to a DUI collision that killed three people is now headed to a jury trial.
KRON4’s Maureen Kelly reports that the surprise decision comes after friends of the victim turned over social media posts made by the defendant while she was under house arrest.
“We expected her to walk out free,” friend of the victims Sara Maurer said.
Maurer is a friend of the victims who were killed in the DUI collision in San Jose back 2012.
Carmel artist Mark Bava, his brother Los Angeles photographer Chris Bava, and his wife Catherine Ash were all killed in the crash.
“Get a knock on the door at 5 a.m. when you’re 87 years old and hear your whole family has been killed,” Maurer said. “I can’t even imagine”
Amoreena Brannum pleaded no contest to the three counts of vehicular manslaughter. While intoxicated, police say she ended the lives of three people.
She has been under house arrest for three years while wearing an ankle monitor.
During that time, the victim’s friend checked out her Facebook posts and was shocked by what Brannum was posting.
“She killed them on the 20th of October, and by Halloween, she was dressed up as Athena, all this cleavage partying,” Maurer said.
Not only that, the retired attorney says Brannum appeared to be living a very full life while on home detention.
“Eating out, going to the library, hanging out with friends in the park, shopping, shopping, often, often and frequently,” Maurer said. “Just what you expect from a single mother. Young, carefree, out with the baby. ‘Do you like my new hair color photos?’ How do people live with themselves? Not an ounce of remorse in this woman. Not an ounce.”
The now cyber sleuth turned over the posting to the prosecutor, and they were included in the probation report. The friends and family also made impassioned pleas during the sentencing hearing and played a video showing the victims and their art. On a Valentine’s Day hearing, the judge threw out Brannum’s plea deal, and now, the defendant is headed for a jury trial.
The victim’s friend says she hopes justice will be served in this case.
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