EL CAJON, Calif. -- A man who rear-ended a pregnant woman's car in Ramona two years ago while driving drunk, killing the woman and her unborn child, was sentenced Monday to 34 years to life in state prison.
Andrew Milonis, 46, was convicted last month of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run for the Mother's Day 2017 crash that killed 29-year-old Jessica Foderingham and her unborn daughter, who she and her husband had planned to name Ayanna.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans read a letter from the victim's husband, who was driving ahead of his wife when he saw the crash in his rear- view mirror, pulled over and tried to pull her out of the wreckage. Her two young sons from a previous relationship were in the car with their stepfather and saw the aftermath.
"I still hear them screaming in my dreams, saying, `Daddy, save Mommy,' and `Mommy, get up,"' he wrote.
Foderingham was eight months pregnant when her Dodge Dart was hit, sending it careening into a tree in the center median on San Vicente Road about 6:45 p.m. on May 14, 2017.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said Milonis' blood-alcohol content was nearly quadruple the legal limit when his SUV slammed into the back of Foderingham's car. Milonis had been drinking throughout the day, downing at least seven drinks at a local bar before he got behind the wheel of his GMC Yukon, the prosecutor said.
Evans said a bartender recommended that Milonis arrange a Lyft ride to get home, but he ignored the advice. Milonis struck a tree and multiple telephone poles before crashing into Foderingham's car, Evans said.
After the crash, Milonis continued driving to a nearby hotel, where employees called a Lyft driver for him. When the Lyft driver arrived and asked Milonis where he wanted to go, the defendant told the driver something to the effect of, "Anywhere I can get a drink," according to Evans.
He was driven to a bar on Main Street, where sheriff's deputies arrested him shortly after he arrived. When tested, he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20, but Evans said it was above 0.30 at the time of the crash -- well above the 0.08 legal limit.
The prosecutor told jurors the impact of the crash left a partial imprint from Milonis' license plate on the back of Foderingham's car, and there was no evidence of mechanical issues on either vehicle that might have contributed to the crash.
Jurors like Anne Nowlin, say she is happy Milonis did not receive a lesser sentence.
“The whole case was terrible, you know it’s Mother’s Day, her family was riding in the car ahead of her, so both of her young sons and her husband saw the impact and the impact on her and watched her die,” said Juror, Anne Nowlin. “He didn’t show any remorse during the trial either, as a matter of fact he did some of the same kind of muttering during the trial. We felt like he didn’t take any responsibility for his actions, and he didn’t show any remorse. We were hoping to see that he would show some remorse today and that didn’t happen. So, I really feel like he has deserved his sentence.”
Six months earlier, Milonis has been arrested on suspicion of DUI for driving drunk and hitting a neighbor's fence before going home, according to Evans, who said he suffered a minor head injury in that crash and had a 0.28 blood alcohol content at the time.
The family of the victims say it won't bring their daughter or her unborn daughter Ayanna back but they are satisfied with the sentence.
“It is joy. It is relief. Satisfaction that he will never be able to get out to hurt anyone at all,” said Jessica’s mother, Regina Townsel. “He took two lives, but his life didn’t get taken, and that is so unfair. He knew what he did wrong. Or he wouldn’t have tried to flee, he wouldn’t have tried to tell the Uber driver, oh no, just keep driving don’t worry about what’s going on at the accident.”