Rebecca Grossman Sentenced to 15 Years to Life for Fatal Westlake Village Crash

Rebecca Grossman, Westlake Village crash, Iskander brothers, second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, Grossman Burn Foundation, tragic accident, court sentencing, legal proceedings

Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation, has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the tragic 2020 crash that killed Mark and Jacob Iskander in Westlake Village. Read about the court proceedings, victim impact statements, and the community’s response.

Burn foundation
Burn foundation

Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation, has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for her role in a tragic crash that resulted in the deaths of two young boys in Westlake Village. The sentencing follows her conviction on charges of second-degree murder and other related offenses.

The Tragic Incident

The fatal crash occurred in September 2020, when Grossman’s white Mercedes-Benz SUV struck 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his 8-year-old brother, Jacob Iskander, as they were crossing the street with their family in a marked crosswalk. The community of Westlake Village, located northwest of Los Angeles, was deeply shaken by the incident.

During the trial, prosecutors detailed the events leading to the crash, highlighting Grossman’s excessive speed and alleged impairment at the time of the accident. Evidence presented in court suggested that Grossman was traveling between 73 to 81 mph in a 45 mph zone just seconds before the collision.

Sentencing and Courtroom Reactions

Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino handed down the 15 years to life sentence, a decision that came after prosecutors had pushed for a harsher sentence of 34 years to life. In contrast, defense attorneys had argued for a much lighter sentence, seeking either probation or a lower state prison term of just over 12 years on vehicular manslaughter charges.

During the sentencing hearing, Grossman, dressed in a brown jumpsuit, displayed visible emotions, shaking her head and crying as victim impact statements were read. These statements, delivered by family members, friends, and community members, painted a poignant picture of the boys’ lives and the profound loss felt by their loved ones.

Among the speakers was the boys’ mother, Nancy Iskander, who directly addressed Grossman, accusing her of lying and showing no remorse for the deaths of her children. The emotional statements underscored the deep sorrow and anger experienced by the family and the community.

Grossman’s Defense and Apology

Throughout the trial and during her sentencing, Grossman maintained her innocence, insisting that the crash was a tragic accident. In a letter to the judge, she wrote, “I am not a murderer, and I ask you to recognize that true fact. My pain, my recognition of the pain the Iskanders suffer, and the pain I watch my family endure, are punishments that I already suffer and will for the rest of my life.”

Grossman expressed her sorrow for the Iskander family’s loss and claimed that she had not seen anyone in the road at the time of the crash. She also mentioned that she left roses at the scene of the accident as a gesture of her remorse.

Despite her apologies, Grossman faced criticism from prosecutors, who argued that her actions since the night of the crash demonstrated a lack of genuine remorse. They pointed out that she had attempted to shift blame onto the victims and others, including her ex-boyfriend, former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson. Prosecutors dismissed her claims, stating that there was no evidence to support her allegations.

Legal Proceedings and Appeals

Grossman was convicted on February 23 of two counts each of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, as well as one count of hit-and-run driving. Following the jury’s verdict, the judge ordered Grossman to be taken into custody immediately, rejecting her attorney’s request to allow her to remain free on a $2 million bond while awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors highlighted Grossman’s actions on the night of the crash, noting that she did not return to the scene to offer aid after the collision triggered her SUV’s airbag. Instead, the vehicle was found about a quarter-mile from the intersection, indicating she had continued driving after the impact.

Grossman’s defense team, consisting of new attorneys James Spertus and Samuel Josephs, argued that the crash was a terrible accident rather than a deliberate act of malice. They suggested that probation with a suspended state prison sentence would be a more appropriate punishment, emphasizing that Grossman did not warrant a life sentence reserved for the most heinous crimes.

Impact on the Community and Family

The sentencing brought some measure of closure to the Iskander family, who had endured a lengthy and emotionally taxing trial process. Nancy Iskander, the boys’ mother, expressed her feelings of sorrow and loss, describing each day of the trial as akin to attending her sons’ funeral. Despite the pain, she stated that the verdict and sentencing would help her begin to heal.

The Westlake Village community, still reeling from the tragedy, has sought ways to honor the memories of Mark and Jacob. Memorials and tributes have been organized to celebrate the boys’ lives and the impact they had on those around them.

Moving Forward

Rebecca Grossman’s case remains a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of reckless driving and the lasting impact such tragedies can have on families and communities. While Grossman’s attorneys have 60 days to appeal the sentence, the Iskander family and their supporters hope that the verdict will serve as a deterrent to others and bring about greater awareness of the importance of road safety.

As the legal process continues, the community of Westlake Village remains united in their grief and their resolve to remember the lives of Mark and Jacob Iskander. The tragic loss of these two young boys has left an indelible mark on all who knew them, and their memories will continue to inspire efforts to promote safety and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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