Virginia DUI Attorney: Woman Pleads Guilty in DUI Crash Involving Soccer Star Charlie Davies

On November 16th, Maria Espinoza pled guilty in federal court in Alexandria to Virginia DUI charges and involuntary manslaughter after an October 2009 car wreck that killed twenty-two-year-old Ashley Roberta and injured US national soccer team player Charlie Davies, preventing him from playing in the World Cup. Twenty-three-year-old Espinoza of Clarksville, Maryland was said to have a blood alcohol content of 0.13 when she crashed into a bridge abutment on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia so violently that the vehicle was torn in two.

Prosecutors in the case said that Espinoza, who was treated for minor injuries following the fatal accident, was speeding, driving while intoxicated and distracted by a GPS device she was attempting to operate when the crash occurred at around 2 a.m. on October 13th. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Espinoza was driving on the George Washington Parkway in northern Virginia at about 2 a.m. when the SUV went off the road at a high rate of speed, killing Roberta and injuring Davies. Davies was in DC preparing for a World Cup qualifier when he met the women at a bar that evening, and they offered him a drive back to his hotel. He suffered several broken bones in his right leg, elbow and face, as well as a lacerated bladder. Davies required several months of rehabilitation and surgery following the accident.

Roberta's mother Jan spoke to press about her reaction the night her daughter was killed. She said:

"It's devastated our family… Maria Espinoza got out with maybe a scratch, but that was it, and my daughter lost her life."

"When I heard about the accident, I remember just screaming and screaming for hours, and I remember just calling my doctor and saying, 'Please meet me at GBMC. Take my heart, take my vital organs — anything to keep my daughter alive."

The maximum sentence Espinoza could receive under sentencing guidelines is eight years for involuntary manslaughter and five years for the DUI charge. She is set to be sentenced on February 18th, 2011.