ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 15CF1119
Date: June 19, 2015
*Defendant was also convicted and sentenced to three years in jail for illegally possessing prescription drugs in jail
NEWPORT BEACH – An attorney was sentenced today to four years in prison for crashing her car and killing a bicyclist while driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti, 41, Rancho Santa Margarita, pleaded guilty March 10, 2015, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She also pleaded guilty today to one felony count of possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility and was sentenced to three years in jail to be served concurrently with today’s prison sentence.
Circumstances of Case #13HF2830
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 15, 2013, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was driving her car southbound on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo after consuming prescription drugs, including Xanax and Suboxone. She swerved into a bike lane, crashing into 54-year-old bicyclist Eric Billings between the intersection of El Toro Road and Los Alisos Boulevard, causing the victim to roll over the hood and windshield. The victim died at the scene as a result of sustaining multiple traumatic injuries from the crash.
OCSD arrived at the scene and investigated this case. OCSD arrested the defendant on Sept. 24, 2013, after the Orange County Crime Laboratory analyzed the blood evidence.
At the time of the crime, Fakhrai-Bayrooti had been an active member of the State Bar of California since 2005.
Circumstances of Case #15CF1119
On May 8, 2015, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was present in court for a sentencing hearing on Case #13HF2830. Her defense attorney requested a continuance to review the probation and sentencing report and told the court that the defendant was recently admitted to a rehab program and receiving treatment. The court granted the continuance but ordered the defendant to be remanded into the custody of OCSD and transported to jail pending sentencing.
On May 13, 2015, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was found being in possession of prescription drug pills, Clonazepam, while being held in jail.
The victim’s family and friends delivered impact statement to the court on May 8, 2015. The victim’s wife said in part, “The void that is left by this tragic and senseless accident is overwhelming. The fact that it isn’t just an accident, but rather an accident committed by one under the influence, is ironic in that Eric never had a drink in his life, would not even take a Tylenol, and would barely take a pain killer after surgery.” She went on to say, “Although I have chosen not to be bitter and have forgiven this woman, I would like her to have consequences for her actions.”
The victim’s brother said in part, “Eric loved everyone and reached out to serve anyone he could. He was the most honest, kind, loving person I know.”
The victim’s son delivered an impact statement to the court describing the emotional impact the death of his father had in his personal life and professional life and how much he misses him to this day.
The victim’s daughter said in part, “Not only do I miss him but my children, his grandchildren, miss him. I have three daughters who he was the funnest grandpa in the world to. They miss playing with him and the love he showed.” She went on to say, “I also have a baby, a son, who my dad was so excited about but never got to meet. They would have been the best of buddies. My whole family misses my dad deeply. He was one of a kind, amazing.”
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff