Victim’s family calls hit-and-run sentence ‘lenient’

The Associated Press
Monday April 08, 2002

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – A family has criticized a judge’s sentence for a man accused of a 2000 hit-and-run accident that killed a 66-year-old woman here. 

The family of victim Guia Orbeta of Daly City said El Dorado Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow’s sentence last week was too lenient. 

Lasarow sentenced David Burnam, 43, of Stateline, Nev., to six months in county jail and five years probation in what he called “one of the hardest cases I’ve had to deal with as a judge.” 

Orbeta was left unconscious with a head injury on a sidewalk along U.S. Highway 50 in September 2000. The mother of six children later died at a local hospital. 

“We are very unhappy with the decision,” son Gaudioso Orbeta told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “We feel he got away with murder. We feel like we’ve been victimized again.” 

“I want this man who killed my mom to go to state prison because the only time I could forgive him is when he is six feet under the ground,” added daughter Marilyn Rodriguez.