Driver Who Killed Woman Sentenced

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Moorpark man who killed a 23-year-old mother of two after suffering a seizure and losing control of his truck was sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail.

Before he was sentenced, Wesley Matthew Spoehr apologized to the victim's many family members in the courtroom. At the time of the accident, Spoehr's license had been suspended because of a medical condition that causes seizures.

"I am deeply sorry for taking her life," said Spoehr, 22. "I hope one day you can forgive me for my irresponsibility."

But Tatiana Villegas' family were outraged when the judge opted for the one-year sentence. Spoehr could have received up to six years in prison.

"We're not looking for revenge. We just wanted justice. And we didn't get it here today," said Villegas' 24-year-old sister, Carmen Martinez of Reseda.

Villegas was hit Jan. 22 while standing on a sidewalk outside her office at Blue Cross of California in Thousand Oaks. The Reseda resident, an agent in the company's preventive care department, was on a break when Spoehr's truck jumped the sidewalk and struck her.

Villegas' family pleaded with Judge Bruce Clark for the harsher punishment. But Clark cited Spoehr's youth and lack of criminal record in opting for the lighter sentence.

"Clearly whatever I do this afternoon isn't going to bring back Ms. Villegas, and it's not going to assuage the loss," Clark said. "So the decision I have to make is, do I ruin his life and send him to prison just for vengeance?"

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