Breaking News — Charges filed against Stephanie Segal in the death of cyclist James Laing

Somehow, this one slipped past us.

Along with a number of other cyclists, I’ve been carefully following the case of Stephanie Segal, the driver accused of killing James Laing in a drunken Agoura Hills hit-and-run last October. And wondering why it was taking the DA so long to file charges in a case that seemed so open and shut.

Wonder no more.

The question isn’t when charges will be filed, but why no announcement was made.

After doing a little digging — okay, a lot of digging — cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels discovered that charges were filed on December 27, and Segal was formally arraigned last Thursday. She pleaded not guilty to one count of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, PC 191.5(a); and one count of felony hit-and-run with injury, CVC 20001(a), and is scheduled to appear for a Preliminary Hearing Setting on March 3rd.

More interesting, perhaps, is that the case is being heard at the same Malibu Courthouse where Robert Sam Sanchez was convicted in the hit-and-run death of Rod Armas — and by the same judge that sentenced Sanchez to 4 years after he pleaded no contest to hit-and-run with injury and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Although I doubt there are very many people in cycling community who would be satisfied with four years in this case.

Wheels also notes that the judge has ordered Segal not to consume alcohol or controlled substances without a valid prescription, and that she has entered a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility, and was ordered not to leave without the permission of the court or program director.

In other words, she seems to be playing the same Get Out of Jail Free card favored by countless celebrities, entering rehab in hopes of leniency from the court.

The problem is, she may — or may not — sober up. But James Laing will still be dead simply because she chose to get drunk and get behind the wheel — then fled the scene, leaving a husband, son and brother to die in the street.

So let’s hope the judge is too smart to fall for that one.

But let’s make sure they know we’re watching, just in case.

………

In other news, the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee offers up a very full agenda for their meeting Tuesday night at the Community Room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue. The meeting is open to the public and cyclists are encouraged to attend.

 

22 comments

  1. Solomon says:

    thanks a lot for the heads up… James Laing a husband, son, brother and also a teacher… he was my teacher.
    may god bless his soul :(

    • carolyn laing says:

      thankyou for all your kind words…jim was a awsome brother..i miss him very much..i go to the site once a week and fix it up and weed by the cross….i cant seem to let him go…:( carolyn

    • carolyn laing says:

      Hello Soloman….Thankyou for that note regarding my brother Jim Laing..Im just discusted on how long this is taking for her to go to jail…Its been a year and 4 months..

  2. Digital Dame says:

    Good and bad, I guess. Good that she’s been charged, and will stand trial, but bad that for all the good that will do, Mr. Laing will never know it. As a species, we really are slow to learn. It astounds me that people still drink and drive.

    • bikinginla says:

      Amazing, isn’t it? It’s such a simple thing to not drink and drive — all you have to do is pick one, and only one, of the above.

  3. Ralph says:

    Thankyou so much for the update. I hope Mrs. Laing is pursuing a civil wrongful death suit agaist Ms. Stephanie Segal. I will be checking in for any updates. Thanks again for the update. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Laing family.

  4. carolyn says:

    Jim was my brother…this is the only way i can find out about hearings..the attny representing my sister in law will not talk to anyone else….?i just found this out!!!!unbelievable..calling into work.this woman ran over my brotherand left him dead in the street….and then hid her car….so she knew dam well what she did!!!!and she is pleading not guilty.all the evidence on the 40 page police report shows its 100 percent HER fault!!!!!!

    • Ralph says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      I have been keeping track of this case because it could just as easily have been me or anyone else who rides along Agoura Rd. How did the preliminary hearing go? It must be frustrating that the attorney can not speak to you about the case. Unfortunately, he is restricted by attorney-client privilige. Can you get the information you need from Jim’s widow? She is his client. I am sorry for your loss. I hope your family is seeking a civil suit for wrongful death. I fear the criminal penalties will be far too light to deliver justice. Good luck.

  5. carolyn says:

    Stephanie segal pleaded not guiltty for running over my brother and killing him.she was 3x over the limit with an open container.she his after..she knew what she did…hearing now…may 11th…i hope to god she gets alot of time..she has alot of money which sucks because they r trying to buy there way out of jail.not right…..

  6. Dave says:

    Glad to see that you’re staying on this one. Not guilty? Then who is? An accident? Of course not. I was one of many people who participated in a memorial ride for Jim late last year. To this day, I pass the site and still see water bottles, flowers, etc. that cyclists and others have left. I hope the driver has to pass by that shrine on her way to rehab.

    • carolyn laing says:

      Thankyou for your words…I go by the site every week and fix it..i truly miss jim..he was a incredible man…..Stephanie segal is trying to get a get out of jail free card..she has spent one night in jail since…the DA is to let our family know when we are supposed to go to court…She is trying to blame this on Jim…They say stephanie has health issues and only has 4 yrs to live..like we are supposed to feel sorry for her???I dont believe it anyway…My brother would of lived a long healthy life..He was a vegetarian,in great shape, and had a great life with his wife Lulu…If she does have 4 yrs to live ,she should be put in jail now! carolyn

  7. M says:

    Although I live in Agoura Hills, I don’t often have occassion to drive down Agoura Rd between Liberty Canyon and Lost Hills. However, as I drove my daughter to camp this past week, my route took me down that road. When I first noticed the site, I summarized that it was a collection of water bottles possibly left behind by the kids using the Beach Bus (which has a stop very close by). But each day as I drove past and looked at the site I became more curious. Then after several days of looking as I drove past, I noticed the cross. I then realized the site was most likely a memorial. And then I immediately recalled reading a story in the Agoura Acorn several months ago about a bicyclist who was hit and killed on Agoura Rd. I wondered if there could be a connection. Turning to my daughter, I asked her if she wanted to stop and take a closer look. She said yes, so I did a U turn and we pulled over and got out of the car. We noticed the rocks with your name and your messages to your brother. We noticed the shirt which we assume must have belonged to Jim. And we noticed the food items which we assume must have been some of his favorites. I was moved to tears. Both my daughter (she’s 12) and I extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We will think of Jim from now on as we pass the memorial site on Agoura Rd. God bless.

    • carolyn laing says:

      Thankyou so much for taking the time to stop.And see the site where my brother was last alive…I miss him so much….I go thier every week and clean up the spot….fill the ottles so they dont blow away…i put a flag thier on the 4th.he was so patriotic…people have left energy bars,a jersey,a biking medal,hawaiian beads…lots of bottles…a silver cross,a blown angel….its verytouching…the lady spent one day in jail for the hit and run….her trial starts 9-7-2011…..so sad….it took a year?he was a great guy! carolyn….

      • Ralph says:

        Please keep us posted on the trial. I no longer live in California, but I rode Agoura Road every weekend from Newbury Park when we lived there. I think about Jim and so many other victims of thoughtless killers behind the wheel of an automobile. If there is anything the public can do, please let us know on this blog. Thank you.

  8. BARBARA says:

    i WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANY UP-DATE ON STEPHANIE SEGAL, COURT, TRIAL, JAIL, ANYTHING.

    • bikinginla says:

      I have good news for you, Barbara. Just received word that Segal has entered a No Contest plea on both counts, with an indicated sentence of nine years in state prison.

      Formal sentencing will take place late next month.

  9. BARBARA says:

    Thanks please keep me posted.

  10. barbara says:

    I understand that the sentencing did’t take place on 1-26-12. why not?

    • bikinginla says:

      I’m afraid I don’t have any information on that yet. Anyone out there know why Stephanie Segal wasn’t sentenced as expected?

      • bikinginla says:

        I don’t know why the sentencing was delayed — though based on accounts of Segal’s combative behavior, I could take a guess. However, Dj Wheels reports that the sentencing is now scheduled for March 14th in Department 1 of the Malibu courthouse.

        We’ll see if it really happens this time.

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