Thursday, September 27, 2012
A former Camp Pendleton Marine who was drunk when he crashed a sports car on a rain-slick road early on St. Patrick's Day, killing a fellow serviceman, was sentenced today to six years in state prison.
Patrick Lewis Barnett, 25, of North Carolina, previously pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the March 17 death of his passenger, Lance Cpl. Thoai Dinh, also 25.
Oceanside police said Barnett was swerving across South Coast Highway, intentionally making his 2005 Ford Mustang fishtail and spin out, when he lost control of the car near Michigan Avenue shortly before 1 a.m.
The Mustang slid off the pavement and smashed into a palm tree, snapping it in half, Lt. Leonard Mata said.
Barnett was arrested upon his release from Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where he was treated for various injuries. Prosecutor Paul Myers said Barnett's blood-alcohol level was .09 percent at the time of the crash.