Tuesday evening, Bryan L. Shorstein reported to Historic City News that local resident 57-year-old Grace Ann King was sentenced to serve 15-years in state prison following her August 20, 2021, conviction for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
On February 4, 2019, King was driving her 2018 Lincoln MKX on US-1 North, in the dark, with the headlights off. According to an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, King was traveling at speeds of 89 miles-per-hour in the 60 miles-per-hour zone.
“The toxicology results of a blood draw taken that night showed King was under the influence of both alcohol and Xanax, a mild sedative,” said Shorstein who is the Executive Director of the office of State Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, R.J. Larizza. The combination of alcohol and the controlled substance, the benzodiazepine Alprazolam, caused King to be impaired.
The victim, 58-year-old Desmond D. Oesterreicher Jr., also of St Johns County, was driving his 1998 Ford Ranger traveling southbound on US-1. When he turned left onto Stokes Landing Road, he was struck and killed by King. The crash also resulted in property damage to two other vehicles.
Assistant State Attorneys Sam Frazer and Rachel Demers successfully conducted the four-day trial for the State. The Honorable R. Lee Smith presided over the case.