No Amended Sentence for Pregnant Hit and Run Driver

Mother-to-Be Heather Hulsey Should Serve Six-Year Sentence, Judge Rules

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa elected on June 30 not to reduce the sentence for Heather Hulsey, a 21-year-old currently serving a six year and four month prison sentence for running over and killing 71-year-old Dr. Ronald Schlensky on a Montecito road in July 2006.

Hulsey, who in December pled no contest to two felony charges - vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and fleeing the scene of an accident knowing a person had been injured - became pregnant from a man she met in a recovery program, leading her attorney to ask for a lighter sentence to deal with the birth of her child.

The defense proposed a two-and-a half year hold on prison for Hulsey to raise the baby and deal with substance abuse issues. Public defender Mindi Boulet said Villa Majella had a space open for Hulsey, and director Fawn Kuba testified to that fact, but the judge denied the motion. Prosecutor Arnie Tolks said her proposed program wasn’t restrictive enough, and argued Hulsey had not been remorseful at the time of the collision, a point with which Ochoa disagreed. Hulsey will instead raise the child through a women and children prison program.

While Boulet argued there were no birthing preparation classes in the prison program, she also argued it would be impractical to go through the Department of Corrections program because of the long application process. But Ochoa recessed to his chambers to call the head of women and children program, who informed the judge that pregnant women would be expedited through the system and given a higher priority. Ochoa indicated he would order that the baby be kept with Hulsey for a time, and that he was convinced the program does everything it can to keep mother and baby together.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Volunteers in Policing Is Looking for 10 Good Men and Women

An eye-opening volunteer program at Santa Barbara Police Department.

Alvarado and Ford File for School Board

Mark M. Alvarado and Kate Ford registered to run for the Santa Barbara Unified school board.

Thousands Received DACA Relief After Lawsuits Filed

Renewal applications have totaled 117,446 since program suspension was overturned.

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

[Update] The suspect in the Goleta Rabobank robbery has been identified as Keith David Goodwin, believed to ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.