SAN DIEGO -- A man who provided alcohol to an underage drinker who subsequently caused a crash that killed her passenger pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 and furnishing alcohol to a minor causing great bodily injury and death.
Fraidoon Ahmad admitted giving alcohol to Yolanda Lozano, 20, and Mabel Bahena, 19, on Feb. 17, 2017. Lozano later drove while drunk and collided with a truck on Interstate 15, killing Bahena. Lozano later pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and was sentenced to one year in custody, with Bahena's family asking a judge for leniency as the two women had been best friends since grade school.
According to the City Attorney's Office, Lozano and Bahena met up with Ahmad on Feb. 17 at the Myst Hookah Lounge in the Gaslamp Quarter. Lozano was responding to an ad that Ahmad posted online seeking prospective employees for a job at a marijuana dispensary.
Ahmad gave each woman two glasses of wine and a shot of tequila at the lounge, according to the City Attorney's Office. The women also met up with Ahmad at his East Village apartment, where he served them more alcohol.
Ahmad was slated to go to trial on the charges Monday morning when he entered his pleas. He faces up to one year in custody, three years of probation and other court fines and fees when he is sentenced June 13.
"Mabel Bahena lost her life because an adult recklessly provided her and her friend with alcohol," City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. "We hope this case sends a strong message about the consequences of furnishing alcohol to minors, and prevents other families from ever experiencing such a tragic loss."
Amber Groves, the bartender who served the women, pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a minor causing great bodily injury and death and is slated to be sentenced on June 3.
Timothy Michael Abbo, the owner of the Myst Hookah Lounge, is set to stand trial in July on one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor causing great bodily injury and death.