A Canyon Country woman who pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the fatal crash that killed Katie Evans, a Saugus mother of six, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday as part of a plea deal.
Alexia Alilah Cina, 21, appeared Friday in San Fernando Superior Court for sentencing but not until statements were read by people impacted by the death of Katie Evans, including her husband, now widowed, Jacob.
“I was extremely appreciative to the sincere apology given not only by Alexia but by her family as well,” Evans said outside of court.
“We exchanged hugs,” he said. “It’s been hard on both families. This is a big milestone in moving forward.”
When Cina entered a plea of no contest last month she also gave a Harvey waiver, which means she will pay restitution in the counts to which she did not admit guilt.
Cina was initially charged one felony count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury.
On Oct. 6, 2017, Cina was allegedly driving southbound on Golden Valley Road at a high rate of speed when she hit the center median and crashed into Evans’ vehicle on the northbound side of the road, prosecutors said.
On Friday, the court learned just how severely her death affected her family.
Victim impact statement
This is what her husband read in court:
“My name is Jacob Evans. My remarks here today have three purposes: one, I want to honor Katie’s memory and help the court to understand a small piece of the hole that was left behind when Katie was killed;
“Two, I want to discourage future drunk driving in the hopes that others will not have to suffer the pain that Katie’s family has suffered;
“Three, I want to encourage Alexia to make the best of her situation by committing now to build a brighter future for her and those around her.”
Jacob Evans described for the court how he met his wife in 2001:
“I’d gotten her phone number from her father, (and) when I mentioned that I wanted to date a girl who was ‘smart and sassy,’ he mentioned that he ‘had one of those.’”
Evans said that after 15 years of marriage, they “had four wonderful boys and they were great, but (that) Katie still longed for a little girl.”
When Katie learned she was pregnant with twins, she and the twins were closely monitored by doctors until the twin girls were both born prematurely.
Then, while the twins were still in the hospital, the traffic collision happened.
“A month before the babies should have even been born Katie was killed coming home from the hospital,” Evans said.
“That night was the longest of my life,” he said. “I had expected her home before midnight and was waiting up for her.”
“When I couldn’t get her on the phone, I called the hospital to see if maybe she had stayed. I searched the internet to see if I could get answers there, and, finally, I called the police who could not give me answers at that time.
“Because of the extreme nature of the injuries it took a very long time to identify the body.
“I was not notified of her death until a coroner showed up at my doorstep six hours later.
“I didn’t sleep a wink that night as I first searched desperately for answers on what could have happened to my wife and then — after hearing the news — wrestled with how to tell my four boys that their mother was gone.”
Jacob Evans ended his official statement in court by addressing Alexia Cina.
Note to Alexia
“And so, Alexia, it is my hope that you will dedicate your life to making the world a better place; both because it will be good for the world and because it will be good for you.
“I understand that you have been tutoring in recent months and applaud you for that effort. Some may say that it is not enough; that it won’t make up for what you’ve done.
“I encourage you to ignore those comments and press forward in the direction that a loving God would want you to take.
“As you fill your heart with caring for others, it might not bring Katie back to life, but it will bring life back to you.”