Man Sentenced in Deadly DUI Case

Benjamin Bettencourt To Spend Five Years in Prison

A Santa Maria judge sentenced Benjamin Bettencourt this week to five years in prison for a 2012 incident in which he drove under the influence and crashed his car, which killed passenger Jennifer Ann Clark. A jury found Bettencourt guilty of the charge in April.

On November 24, 2012, Bettencourt was driving with Clark on Highway 246 when he ran into a tree; a subsequent CHP investigation determined that his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. Clark suffered severe head trauma and died in the hospital nine days later.

Speaking to Bettencourt’s sentence, prosecutor Kevin Duffy said, “We’re extremely pleased for the victim’s family that they have some closure. Although it won’t bring back their family member, there was justice served with the jury’s verdict and the judge’s sentence to prison.”

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

event calendar sponsored by:

Plastic Bags? Throw ‘Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.

UCSB Ranked Number Three in UC System

Cal and UCLA took the one and two spots.

Pini Property Fights Continue

As an epic attorney battle continues in the Dario Pini receivership, a tenant is getting fed up.

MTD Takes Stand Against Prop. 6

The bus company is concerned about the state funding it relies upon.

County Half-Jokes It Wants Cannabis ‘World Domination’

A government executive implores growers to get legal before time runs out.