Jerald B. Holman


A Bakersfield man charged with murder in connection to a DUI crash on Highway 166 that left two children dead was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison Monday morning. 

Jerald Brandon Holman, 37, withdrew his not guilty plea last month in connection to the Sept. 5, 2016, crash in a rural area of southern San Luis Obispo County. 

Holman also admitted to three sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and one enhancement for injuring multiple victims. 

Holman was reportedly traveling westbound Highway 166 when he took a curve in the roadway at an estimated 104 mph and began drifting into the eastbound lane. As he jerked his steering wheel to the right, he reportedly almost immediately swerved to the left, causing his car to cross into the eastbound lane of the highway and directly into the path of an oncoming Chevrolet. 

His girlfriend's two children, ages 4 and 7, were passengers in Holman's vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene, according to officials. Holman's girlfriend sustained minor injuries. Four more occupants in the other vehicle were seriously injured. 

Holman's blood alcohol level was determined to be .11 four hours after the crash, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office. 

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The case was investigated by the Santa Maria Office of the California Highway Patrol, the Highway Patrol's Coastal Division Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) and the San Luis Obispo District Attorney's Office. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner. 

Before changing his plea, Holman was ordered to stand trial for felony child endangerment, felony DUI causing death, and four counts of causing great bodily injury to multiple victims. If he were to be convicted on all charges, Holman would have faced more than 45 years in state prison.

Holman was previously arrested in Kern County in 2015 for another DUI incident, according to the prosecution.

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210