CHP: Charge Brandy with manslaughter
EmptyThe California Highway Patrol recommended Monday that actress-singer Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a freeway crash that killed a woman motorist last month, a city attorney's spokesman told The Associated Press.
The CHP referred the matter to the city attorney's office for review, said spokesman Nick Velasquez.
"The office is currently reviewing the case and determining whether the evidence warrants the filing of a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter," Velasquez said.
A message seeking comment from Brandy's publicist, Courtney Barnes, was not immediately returned. Earlier this month, Barnes issued a statement saying Brandy "wishes to publicly express her condolences to the family of the deceased."
Barnes also has said Brandy wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine, Velasquez said.
Prosecutors couldn't say when they would make a decision about whether to bring a case. If charged, Brandy wouldn't necessarily have to appear in court and could have her lawyer enter a plea, Velasquez said.
Brandy, 27, was driving a Land Rover on Interstate 405 on Dec. 30 when traffic slowed and her vehicle struck the back of Honda driven by Awatef Aboudihaj, 38, according to a CHP report.
Aboudihaj's car hit another vehicle, slid sideways into the center divider and was then hit by another car, the report said. Aboudihaj, a Los Angeles waitress, died at a hospital from blunt-force injuries, according to the coroner's office.
The CHP alleges in a report that Brandy caused the accident by breaking a law against driving at a speed "greater than is reasonable or prudent" or that "endangers the safety of persons or property," according to a part of the report obtained by the AP.
Bill Sayed, an attorney for Aboudihaj's husband, said he supported the CHP's recommendation.
Brandy, who earned a Grammy in 1999, has made five albums. She began her recording career at 14 and acted for film and television, starring on the sitcom "Moesha" from 1996-2001 and most recently as a judge for NBC's "America's Got Talent."