A Hemet man who killed his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter and seriously injured her younger sister when he slammed his van into a utility pole across the street from the Murrieta Police Department while high on methamphetamine was sentenced Friday to 22 years to life in state prison.
A Murrieta jury in February convicted 39-year-old William Patrick Causer Jr. of Hemet of second-degree murder for the death of Summer Carbone of Rialto, along with child endangerment and sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen imposed the sentence required by law on the defendant, a repeat DUI offender.
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On the morning of March 31, 2016, the defendant was driving his van on Jefferson Avenue in Murrieta, going 60 mph, while under the influence of meth.
Causer's then-girlfriend, Rebekah Joy Davis of Rialto and her 15- and 10-year-old daughters were riding with the defendant on the morning of March 31, 2016, when he lost control of his van as he passed in front of the police department while going about 60 miles per hour on Jefferson Avenue, prosecutors said.
The vehicle crashed head-on into a light standard.
The sisters were sleeping in the rear of the vehicle and were not wearing seatbelts. Causer and Davis were strapped in, according to police.
Summer suffered catastrophic injuries and died at the scene. Her sister suffered a lacerated spleen and broken right leg, while the girls' mother and Causer escaped with minor injuries.
Davis pleaded guilty to child cruelty and was sentenced in August 2016 to four years in state prison.
According to court records, Causer had two prior DUI convictions, as well as convictions for receiving stolen property and felony possession of controlled substances.
Under state law, anytime a defendant has been convicted of DUI and received warnings about the perils of drinking and driving, he or she can be charged with murder when responsible for a deadly crash.