Driver Charged With Manslaughter Following Death of Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis

Charles Mask Lewis

(A TapouT employee tends to a small memorial set up for “Mask” on the sidewalk outside company headquarters in Grand Terrace yesterday. Photo courtesy of the OC Register)

Yesterday we learned that Jeffrey David Kirby — the drunk driver who struck Charles Lewis’s car late Tuesday night, leading to the accident that killed him — had been cited for at least eight traffic violations since 2001, including a previous DUI bust. (Damn, where’s Dexter when you need him?) Well, Kirby’s just been formally charged. As Sherdog reports:

Jeffrey D. Kirby, 51, of Costa Mesa, Calif., has been charged with “one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and causing great bodily injury to multiple victims,” according to a press release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Kirby…faces a maximum sentence of 19 years and eight months if convicted. Kirby is being held on $2 million bail and will be arraigned on Friday afternoon at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, Calif.

Kirby was later apprehended with a female companion a few blocks from the crash by officers, who observed the couple walking away from Kirby’s vehicle. Kirby was described as “emitting an odor of alcohol, slurring his speech, and having bloodshot and watery eyes,” according to the release.

Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. His girlfriend, Lacy Lynn White was ejected from the vehicle in the crash and landed on a nearby dirt embankment. White, 23, was transported to Western Medical Center – Santa Ana where she was treated for a fractured elbow, lacerations, and abrasions. Investigating officials told Sherdog.com on Thursday that White is in critical, but stable condition and is expected to survive.

The prospect of Kirby pleading down to a lighter sentence, then having time shaved off for “good behavior” is not sitting well with us right now, to say the least. Let’s hope the criminal justice system can do its job on this one.