'Sleep Deprived' New Mother Who Killed Nanny & Injured Toddler Given Only Two Days in Jail

A new mother who had given birth the day before she struck and killed a nanny pushing a toddler in a stroller has been sentenced to only 48 hours in jail. The woman, a 35-year-old attorney from California named Christine Padilla, killed the nanny and severely injured the toddler after striking them in San Diego while she was driving. She reportedly admitted to police she was sleep deprived at the time.

Padilla pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail, along with probation and 180 days of electronic surveillance. This hardly seems much for running a red light and killing the nanny and almost killing the 13-month-old boy that the nanny was pushing. The child ended up with a skull fracture, broken bones, a lacerated spleen and broken ribs.

I get that she didn't mean to kill anyone, but vehicular manslaugher is usually treated incredibly leniently in this country. But it is an incredibly difficult thing to know how to punish. Which one of us hasn't made a mistake while driving? Lost our concentration for a moment? But then there are people who just drive like reckless maniacs and are a death waiting to happen.
Driving when you are sleep deprived to the extent that you can't see a red light means you shouldn't have been driving. I'm not saying Padilla should spend her life in prison, but 48 hours seems incredibly lax. On the other hand, she has a new baby, and perhaps the courts thought it would be worse to deprive a child from its mother in its early years.
Believe it or not, the two days added jail time was not part of the original sentence, which included no jail time. It was added only after pleas from the nanny's children and family and the injured toddler's mother. A tragedy all the way around.
Do you think the mom got enough punishment?
Image via hyku/Flickr

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abra819 abra819

What a joke :(

SaphireH SaphireH

There is never an excuse to drive recklessly and stupidly. If you are that tired stay the hell home or get someone to help even if its a taxi for pete sakes. I know what its like to be sleep deprived, heck i am this second due to my 18 month old teething but i have never in my life driven when im so tired i could risk mine or anyone else's life because ill say screw it on that days plans until later in the day so i can manage more sleep but if i absolutely have to go out ill find help some how before i would drive myself

nonmember avatar D

The title of this article is very misleading.

I'm surprised she got jail time at all.

The woman who ran over and almost killed my 6 year old only got her license suspended for 3 months and a $500 fine.

She was driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone ,texting, and driving recklessly. She actually drove through my yard and driveway and then hit him. It's ridiculous that injuries cause by drivers are not punished more strictly.

momof2CA momof2CA

Get off your high horse.  If nobody ever drove when they hadn't had quite enough sleep, there would be nobody on the road.  How often have you ever been driving and just thinking to yourself and been not quite as alert as you really should be.  This can happen to anyone who doesn't get their full recommended 8 hours of nightly uninterrupted sleep.  It could be you at any time!   This is a terrible accident and I am sure the woman who actually has to live with having caused this will be far harder on herself than any jail sentence would have been on her.  Are we supposed to put people in jail and throw away the key every time somebody makes an honest to goodness mistake?  There was no mention of, alcohol, drugs, cell phone usage (which I see on a daily basis still) etc.  Just a new mom, who was over tired.  Cont.

momof2CA momof2CA


What new mom hasn't been there?  What a judgmental article to have even written in the first place.  We live in a country where honest mistakes are harshly judged, pot dealers are punished with long sentences and then rapists, child abusers and real murderers (ie CaseyAnthony) get slaps on the wrist or worse yet go free.  I'm so tired of seeing articles where an accident, a real no bad intentions or forethought or real negligence even, accident is blown so far out of proportion and then the whole justice and mob mentality takes over.  I feel for the families affected by this awful event, I really do, but give the revenge (revenge is what a jail sentence would have been about, not justice) a break already!

2baby... 2babymomma

Ok first of all she has only been a mother for 1 day she has no clue what sleep deprived is and second why the hell is she driving one day after giving birth. Yes this probably was just a terrible accident but I think the sentence was too lenient.

Rache... RachelsMercy

Well a friend of mines ex just caused a 4 car pile up yesterday while driving drunk and tailgating, didn't get arrested, didn't get charged with DUI. only got charged with 2 misdomenors of reckless driving and failing to pay attention. He also had no insurance. But he got released from the hospital and DROVE HOME. Our legal system is a joke.

RMT1995 RMT1995

I thought you weren't supposed to drive that soon after giving birth? Or is that just for c-sections?

blunt... bluntcakes


While I wholeheartedly agree about the pot dealer vs rapist comment

This woman drove a vehicle and KILLED someone I don't think that it was a mistake, she must have known she was too tired to drive and did so anyway. She was negligent! Say what you said to the family of the victim and see if they'll respond positively. This could have been PREVENTED. Yes people drive sleep deprived all the time but it doesn't make it okay just like its not okay to drive drunk, high, after taking certain medications. If you KNOW you have no business behind the wheel and you do so anyway be prepared to face the consequences

Christen Aubuchon

What I find weird is that she only got 2 days in jail. She killed someone and injured another and only got 2 days??? I had a good friend who at the time drank all the time and killed someone while driving. He got 9 years in jail for vehicular manslaughter and this person only gets 2 freaking days??? Sad all around. A family lost a mother and basically the court giving out two days is like saying oh well, it wasn't that big of deal. 

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