Thursday, June 12, 2008

Defender seeks lesser sentence in Hulsey case

BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

The public defender representing Heather Lea Hulsey, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for the July 2006 hit-and-run death of a prominent 71-year-old Montecito doctor, filed a motion in Superior Court to have her client’s sentence reduced to probation.
The reason cited, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Arnis Tolks, is because Hulsey is several months pregnant — a fact that was not brought up during her Feb. 11 sentencing hearing.


Tolks said the defense has 120 days to file such a motion, and Hulsey’s attorney, Mindy Boulet, filed on the 119th day.
A message left for Boulet yesterday seeking comment was not returned to the Daily Sound.
In a hearing last week, Tolks said Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa, who handed down Hulsey’s earlier sentence, agreed to temporarily suspend the woman’s sentence until a hearing can be held to determine the merits of a lesser sentence. That hearing is scheduled for June 30.
Though Ochoa agreed to have the hearing, Tolks said the judge made it clear it was in no way an indicator he would reduce the sentence.
At the June 30 hearing, Tolks said people are expected to testify on Hulsey’s behalf, and he will object to any arguments made in favor of reducing the sentence.
Tolks said there are facilities available in state prison that allow women who give birth while incarcerated the chance to raise their children.
“She can get the same kind of services in prison that she can get locally,” he said.
Tolks said it was his understanding that Boulet is seeking a reduced sentence of probation and one-year in some sort of custody, much of which she’s already served.
Hulsey, 21, pleaded no contest to two felony charges last December, one for vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and the other for fleeing the scene of an accident knowing that a person was injured.
Hulsey struck Dr. Ronald Shlensky with her SUV on the evening of July 27. According to witness testimony given during a preliminary hearing, Hulsey had been drinking vodka at the Montecito Country Club prior to the accident.
Shlensky was walking his dog down the street he had resided on for decades when he was hit and killed. Hulsey fled the scene and denied any wrongdoing. She managed to avoid arrest until Aug. 7, 2006. Authorities located her SUV at an auto body repair shop in Ventura, where her father had taken the car to have dents from the collision repaired.
Before being sentenced, Hulsey had been sober for nine months and was residing at Casa Serena, a residential treatment facility.
Though Hulsey received her sentence four months ago, she has remained in Santa Barbara County Jail to attend restitution hearings, which have repeatedly been postponed.


10 comments:

brian said...

Don't you dare reduce her sentence to probation. She freakin KILLED a guy and she's asking to be set free. No way. You are not going to make a dent in DUI's unless people start to see some punishment. Who cares if she's pregnant. Is this going to be just another case of Montecito justice, If she were Mexican, she'd be in jail for 20+ years.
Don't let her go free.

Anonymous said...

That woman is a menace to society. She killed someone, tried to get away, and continued to abuse alcohol while awaiting her murder trial. They should lock her up, take away her baby and throw away the key.

Anonymous said...

You gotta wonder if this sterling example of humankind got pregnant on purpose knowing it had the potential to reduce her sentence. What a winner.

Anonymous said...

Shuffle the cards, again, Brian, the Mexican race card is a loser.

Recall: Ms. Hulsey was under the influence of a chemical. She accidentally ( not intentionally ) committed manslaughter by running into a car. She got prison time.

In 2001, a woman named Juana Orocio, who had entered the country illegally from Mexico and was living in Santa Maria, INTENTIONALLY tried to kill her newborn baby by stuffing it into a black plastic bag and throwing it in a trash can. She was let go with probation. No prison time. Why? "The Race Card." She claimed she had to smother the child to death because she was afraid of her family, because she was a "Mexican."

Ms. Hulsey's race is irrelevant to her being an alcoholic who killed a man with her car.

Anonymous said...

Wow she's pregnant. Let's see how this plays out in the court. I've always found our drunk driving laws to be jokes. If you kill or injure someone will under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you deserve jail time. She chose to get pregnant, she chose to drink and drive and she chose to try to cover up the her crime. Ms. Hulsey has done nothing to show that she deserves an early release.

Anonymous said...

First of all people who are posting these hateful comments about a person you don't even know is wrong. No one knows the REAL person but Heather and her friends and family. I am not saying she did not do anything wrong. But I believe she should get a second chance in society. She made a change for a better in her life. No one is perfect but at least she is trying to become a better person. The comment about her becoming pregnant was a low blow. I know for a fact that she would not have gotten pregnant to get her sentenced reduced. Because she did NOT know she was pregnant until she had already received her final sentencing. I would greatly appreciate it, if people would stop commenting information on someone that they have no idea who this person is. If people cared, they would stop and take the time to get all the facts straight.
Thank You

Anonymous said...

These are not hateful comments they are the TRUTH. She killed someone, she was drunk, she decided to try to cover it up. Her victims do not get a second chance. There is still a person that died and his family lost a father, husband, and grandfather. Her being pregnant is a non issue she can be pregnant and serve her time.

Anonymous said...

what a joke..showing remorse..why was she engaging in this behavior while staying in this venue.this low class low life has always done what she wants and it shows. casa whatever needs to be reviewed and no futher crimminals allowed ,their lack of respect for the law is certainly a low blow. this slimeball has always done what she wants now she is trying to use a baby to achieve her goal. six years is not enough and she will stay...the community and the world fight against all you are..pure evil. you are staying and you will not get out. we are going national with this evil low life story....she is not from montecito people. an

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the father isn't involved in this case? From what the article says, he went and had the dents removed before she was arrested. I don't know much about the legal process, but I can't believe that he isn't being reprimanded for what he did. What a great example...Flee from the scene and then try and cover it up...
?

Anonymous said...

good point. wouldn't it be called accessory after the fact for murder.
outrageous behavior that has not been addressed! parents do not bail your children out...they need guideance and love not deception. they have enough friends and only two parents. PARENT!