Former soap star Jensen Buchanan -- known for her roles as The Young and the Restless' Elise Moxley, General Hospital's Melissa Bedford, Another World's Vicky Hudson, and One Life to Live's Sarah Gordon -- pleaded guilty on Friday to driving under the influence and crashing into and seriously injuring another driver.
As previously reported, Buchanan got behind the wheel of her Mercedes S550 with a blood alcohol level of 0.34 back in May of 2016, drifted across double yellow lines, and drove directly into the path of a white Ford C-Max on Highway 154, causing "major injuries" to its driver, 56-year-old Bradley Asolas of Camarillo.
Buchanan's guilty plea could lead to five years of probation plus up to 365 days in county jail. The Santa Maria Times reports "Judge James Voysey reminded Buchanan that the sentence was conditional, meaning that it may change after the court hears about victim Bradley Asolas' medical conditions during the sentencing hearing set for October 6."
Asolas is reportedly furious with the outcome of Friday's court date.
"I think it's wrong. My life's forever changed, and she got off with a slap on the wrist," he says. "When I drive now, I always wonder, if I'm involved in a crash again where the airbags break out and my heart gives out again, I can actually die this time."
His wife adds: "She drank, hit my husband and he almost died and I had to sit through that, watch him go through that, and all of our lives are changed forever."
Asolas is scheduled to share how he's suffered as a result of the crash during the sentencing hearing. If the court is compelled to modify the sentence after hearing his side of the story, Buchanan has the option of withdrawing her plea.
"Ms. Buchanan has the option of setting the reset button and we start over. I believe that's not fair to the victim in this case," says Deputy District Attorney Jon Kawashima. "He doesn't have the ability to push a reset button himself; Mr. Asolas doesn't get to say, 'OK, let's just move forward.'"
He continues: "I don't believe this is an appropriate indicated sentence, and I don't believe it's appropriate to let Ms. Buchanan withdraw her plea in that event the court changes its mind."
However, Buchanan's attorney, Dmitry Gorin, has a different view. "[The judge] was swayed by probation's recommendation that she be allowed to do probation with County Jail time rather than prison," he states. "She's looking to do some significant custody time as a result of this sentence. She's expressed great remorse over what happened. We believe the judge's decision is supported based on all facts, circumstances, probation report and everything that Ms. Buchanan did to show her commitment to sobriety."
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