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Probation granted for vehicular manslaughter
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A Turlock woman who was behind the wheel in a collision that claimed the life of her husband and injured her brother-in-law was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and then granted probation, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

Kathryn Patrice Esquivel, 39, of Turlock entered a no contest plea on March 15 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing injury and with a blood alcohol content over .08 percent, possession of methamphetamine and driving on a suspended license.

Esquivel was taken into custody on March 18, 2015, after a collision killed her husband Raul Esquivel, 39, and injured her brother-in-law Javier Esquivel.

On that night, the three went out bar-hopping to celebrate Raul’s 39th birthday. Esquivel was the designated driver, but she did drink that night. Esquivel was driving a BMW home to Turlock on Highway 99 when she got into a heated argument with her husband and began driving at speeds over 100 miles per hour, according to the district attorney’s office. When both Raul and Javier yelled at her to slow down, pull over and stop, Esquivel suddenly turned the steering wheel sharply, causing their vehicle to cross the freeway, strike the concrete median, cross back again and roll down an embankment, coming to rest on its roof. Raul was declared dead at the scene.

Esquivel and her brother-in-law were both wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. The California Highway Patrol said Kathryn Esquivel had complaints of stomach pain and Javier Esquivel had a complaint of chest pain.

A chemical test of Esquivel’s blood showed an alcohol content of 0.08 percent along with evidence that she had ingested methamphetamine and the prescription opioid drug “Tramadol.” When being booked into the jail, methamphetamine was found in her pants pocket.

At the time of the crash, Esquivel was driving on a suspended license. While this case was pending, Esquivel was charged with a new case of driving with a suspended license.

Esquivel was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months. Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Linda McFadden determined that Esquivel was suitable for probation, suspended a state prison sentence and ordered Esquivel to serve one year in jail.

Deputy District Attorney Bianca Yip prosecuted the case for the People. Her position is funded by a grant provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.