SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office announced that a county jury has convicted a woman of numerous charges after deliberating a crash that killed a San Luis Obispo man in 2019.
27-year-old Chelsea Annmarie Stiles has been convicted for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; driving under the influence of a drug causing death; four counts of assault with a deadly weapon using an automobile; leaving the scene of a vehicle collision causing injury; child abuse; and misdemeanor possession of cocaine.
However, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous conviction for the serious charge of murder after a two-month trial. The vote ultimately came to 11 to 1 in favor of guilt.
The deadly crash Stiles was involved in happened on Dec. 1, 2019, around 6 p.m.
Stiles was reportedly under the influence of cocaine while driving on Highway 227 when she intentionally rear-ended a vehicle carrying a family of four at 74 miles per hour.
Within 20 seconds of disabling the family vehicle, Stiles decided to drive into oncoming traffic in the other lane resulting in a head-on collision with another vehicle at 68 miles per hour.
The driver of that vehicle, 72-year-old Terry Tilton of San Luis Obispo, was sadly killed on impact.
The District Attorney's Office said Stiles' 18-month-old daughter and two dogs were also in her car at the time of this crash.
“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is deadly serious as this case tragically illustrates,” said Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth. “Ms. Stile’s decision to drive in her condition endangered not only her infant daughter within her vehicle, but every other driver on the roadway that evening. Our community is thankful for the jury’s tireless effort and attention in this nearly two-month-long trial, particularly in light of the COVID-19 safety precautions.”
Stiles faces a maximum sentence of over 14 years in state prison. She will return to Department 1 of the Superior Court for sentencing on Feb. 3, 2021, with Judge Jacqueline Duffy presiding.
The case was investigated by California Highway Patrol with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.