Shannon Mahoney was 22 years old when she died in a rollover crash on State Route 78 on June 6, 2009.
Her boyfriend Charles Lemay, 28, was driving her truck when it happened. Prosecutors say the couple was arguing when Lemay jerked the steering wheel in anger causing the crash.
More than a year later and hours before trial was to begin on whether Lemay caused Mahoney's death, a plea deal was struck, angering one member of the victim's family.
According to our media partners, the North County Times, Lemay pleaded guilty Thursday to gross vehicular manslaughter just as jury selection was about to begin.
Lemay will serve a year in county jail and three years probation, minus time served. He also was sentenced to four years in prison, but it was stayed unless he violates the terms of probation, the paper reported. As part of the plea deal, a felony drug sales charge was dropped.
"So you tell me he's going to do eight or nine months in jail for killing my sister?“ said Sean Mahoney, the victim's brother.
Sean Mahoney said Lemay was so violent at the time of the crash; he had to be tased by a CHP officer. That leads Sean Mahoney to believe Lemay may have attacked his sister prior to the crash.
"I think he was hitting her, because there was pre-mortem bruises on her face and he lost control and crashed and she wasn't wearing a seat belt, “ Mahoney said.
Lemay's defense attorney said it's unclear exactly what led to the crash. He believes his client, who served 10 years in the U.S. Marines, never meant to hurt Shannon.
"I know that he (Lemay) wants everyone to know that he is truly upset about this and saddened, and has been from the beginning,“ attorney Anthony Solare said.
Sean Mahoney said words can not describe how devastating the loss of Shannon has been for his family, especially for his sister Kira.
""They were twins," he said. "I think it really affects her."
Lemay is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15.