A driver who fatally stabbed an Illinois vacationer within the coronary heart throughout a street rage battle final 12 months in downtown San Diego was sentenced Monday to 16 years to life in state jail.
A jury final month discovered Byron Lee, 35, responsible of second-degree homicide, plus a knife allegation, within the dying of Yacoub Abdallah.
Abdallah, 34, a resident of the Chicago suburb of Midlothian, was vacationing in San Diego.
In line with authorities, the 2 males had a road-rage dispute that escalated right into a brawl at Third Avenue and Market Road about 3 p.m. June 26, 2021. The battle broke up, and every man bought again into his automobile and drove off.
As Abdallah drove away, he misplaced consciousness and crashed into a light-weight pole, a tree and energy field at First Avenue close to Broadway.
Abdallah was taken to a hospital, the place he died. Testimony from Lee’s trial indicated Abdallah had been stabbed in his coronary heart.
Police mentioned a passenger in Abdullah’s automobile sustained minor accidents within the crash, and a 14-year-old lady bystander sustained minor accidents from flying particles.
Lee was arrested in September of final 12 months within the San Bernardino County metropolis of Ontario.
At Lee’s sentencing listening to in San Diego Superior Courtroom, Deputy District Legal professional Christina Eastman described the defendant as “a person who took the lifetime of anyone over a petty driving error.”
Earlier than he was sentenced, Lee instructed Abdallah’s household he was “terribly sorry that this occurred.’’
“I additionally need them to know that I actually didn’t intend to take his life. I completely didn’t need to try this. That was not my intention and for that, I’m completely sorry. I pray for his or her forgiveness,’’ Lee mentioned.
San Diego Superior Courtroom Choose Steven Stone rejected a protection movement for a diminished sentence on the grounds that Abdallah might have been the aggressor or had some culpability within the incident. The decide mentioned he didn’t imagine “in any approach” that the proof he heard at trial supported that rivalry.
“The sufferer on this case did completely nothing flawed,” Stone mentioned. “This was utterly mindless,” the decide mentioned. “There was no purpose for it. It ought to by no means have occurred. There was no justification for it. And to say that one way or the other Yacoub was accountable in any approach is simply flawed.’’
Whereas 16 years to life was the utmost sentence Stone might impose, he instructed Abdallah’s household, “It’s greater than warranted.”
“If I might impose an extended sentence, I might,” the decide mentioned.
Employees author Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.