Sunday, 19 May 2024

Four-year prison sentence handed down for 2004 vehicular manslaughter case

LAKEPORT – An Upper Lake man was sentenced to four years in state prison last week after pleading guilty to felony gross vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a crash.

Judge Arthur Mann handed down the sentence to Sean Thomas Selig, 24, on Jan. 20, according to a statement from the Lake County District Attorney's Office.

Selig was represented by attorney Judy Conard and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney John Langan.

The charges against Selig arose from an Oct. 6, 2004, crash in which his passenger, 21-year-old Samuel Adrian Solario, was killed.

The two young men, who investigators said had been spotted having drinks at a Nice restaurant and bar, were riding in a GMC Sierra pickup truck, driven by Selig, along Lakeshore Boulevard in Nice when the crash occurred.

Selig overturned the vehicle then, according to investigators, he fled, allegedly leaving Solario at the scene, where he died.

The District Attorney's Office said that Selig allegedly went to a friend's home where he spent the night, not mentioning that he had been involved in the crash.

According to the report, Selig allegedly told law enforcement that he had an “alcoholic blackout.”

Langan said Solario's parents confronted Selig the day after the fatal crash.

Selig allegedly told them that Solario had been driving, a story he would repeat to law enforcement throughout the investigation. Langan said Selig first gave that statement to officials not long after the crash occurred.

Selig also allegedly had stated that he had been ejected through the driver side window from the passenger seat without suffering any apparent injury, a story which the District Attorney's Office called “implausible.”

Early in 2005, Selig left Lake County to move to Redding. He was staying there with his grandparents when he was arrested by the California Highway Patrol in August of that year and brought back to the county for face the charges.

The case took a long time to resolve. Since it got under way, the original prosecutor, David McKillop, left to accept a position in Kern County, so Langan took the case over.

More recently, Conard – who could not be reached for comment late Monday – had accident reconstructions prepared in order to evaluate the incident, according to Langan.

Fleeing the scene and the accounts of the story he gave to officials ended up being “aggravating factors” that counted against Selig in court, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Mann found those factors outweighed Selig's youth and lack of any prior criminal convictions. He also denied Selig's probation request, nothing that his actions belied his account of the blackout.

Selig, now being held in the Lake County Jail, originally also had faced hit-and-run charges.

Although Mann denied Selig's probation request, the prison time he gave, based on the penal code's description of gross vehicular manslaughter sentences, was the lower term. Selig could have faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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