A Santa Maria jury on Friday returned guilty verdicts in a deadly DUI case from 2012. The jurors convicted Benjamin Bettencourt, 39, of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing injury, and a special allegation of inflicting great bodily injury. He will be sentenced on May 4.
On November 24, 2012, Bettencourt was driving with Jennifer Ann Clark when he collided with a tree on Highway 246 between Buellton and Solvang. The crash left Clark with severe head trama, which she died from in the hospital nine days later. An investigation by the California Highway Patrol found Bettencourt’s blood alcohol content to be over the legal limit. According to the District Attorney’s Office, once the verdict was announced on Friday, Clark’s family cried and thanked prosecutor Kevin Duffy.