The District Attorney’s Office has received numerous inquiries based upon false and misleading information which has been shared on various social media platforms including TikTok and Twitter, regarding the outcome of a criminal case, the People of the State of California vs. Lindsay Richardson docket #19FE013012. Our ethical obligation as representatives of the People require us to correct this misinformation.
On July 23rd 2019, the District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Lindsay Richardson charging her with a violation of Penal Code section 191.5(b), driving under the influence of alcohol and killing Julian Solis. The maximum punishment for that crime is 4 years in state prison. On October the 1st 2019, the Court ordered a pre-plea probation report at the request of Ms. Richardson’s attorney. On December 4th of 2019, the Probation Department returned its pre-plea report recommending the maximum term of 4 years in state prison. Please note that in our justice system it is the judge (“Court”) who has ultimate authority to render judgement and sentence in criminal cases. On December 19th of 2019, the Court issued a tentative ruling indicating that the Court would offer Ms. Richardson the middle term of 2 years in state prison. The Court acknowledged “It would appear from meeting with counsel in chambers that the People’s position is firm on a 4-year sentencing because of the taking of a human life.” In stating the position of “the People,” the judge was referring to the District Attorney’s Office who advocates on behalf of the People of the State of California.
On January 21st 2020, Ms. Richardson pled to the charge as filed. On February 28th 2020, the Court conducted a sentencing hearing, during which the Court heard statements from the Victim’s family and the Defendant. The Court imposed a middle term sentence of 2 years. However, the Court suspended that sentence and imposed 5 years’ probation with 180 days to be served in custody and an additional 180 days to be served on ankle monitor. Ms. Richardson has yet to complete her sentence due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Sacramento County Jail.
The loss of human life is tragic. We share in the concern that the sentence in this matter was less than what the crime called for under the facts of this case. However, the District Attorney’s Office consistently sought the maximum term in prison for this crime in this matter. The sentence that was imposed, which was less than the maximum term the District Attorney’s Office was seeking, was the Court’s assessment of the appropriate sentence in this case.