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Brown's attorney says she won't get the 'Lindsay Lohan treatment'

Posted: November 15, 2011 6:00 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2011 6:00 p.m.

The young woman sentenced in connection with the Independence Day traffic death of a Newhall mother of three won't be out of jail anytime soon, her lawyer says.

"She's not getting the Lindsay Lohan treatment," the lawyer said, referring to the celebrity's flexible sentencing arrangements.

Lohan was sentenced Nov. 2 to 30 days for a parole violation but was released due to jail overcrowding after serving just a few hours.

Attorney David S. Kestenbaum represents Melissa Brigitte Brown, 23, of Canyon Country, who was sentenced to 180 days in county jail after pleading no contest to manslaughter charges in the death of Matilde Garnica.

Brown was given credit for time served but was immediately taken into custody Thursday to serve 99 days of the sentence, despite efforts by Kestenbaum to allow her to finish the semester and report for incarceration afterward.

Kestenbaum had asked the sentencing judge to set a date when Brown could begin serving her sentence, but instead the judge remanded her to custody immediately after passing sentence.

In addition to 180 days to be served in the county jail, Brown was also placed on three years' probation and 80 hours of community service.

Specifically, she was ordered to speak to high school students about her case.

Matilde Garnica Juarez, a Newhall mother of three, was crushed during the July 4, 2010, city-sponsored fireworks show when the car Brown was driving collided with another car and careened into the crowd at Valencia Boulevard at Mall Entrance Drive.

Kestenbaum said Brown has been forced to forfeit a year of college due to the abrupt incarceration.

According to her Facebook page, Brown is studying journalism at California State University, Northridge.

Dr. José Luis Benavides, chair of the university's Department of Journalism, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that bars him from talking about any student, could not confirm that Brown would forfeit this school year and delay her graduation.






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