Trial Begins Monday for Alleged Killer of Charles Lewis Jr., "Mask" of MMA and TapouT Fame

Categories: Crime-iny
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UPDATE: Click here for details on conviction of the accused.

The trial for the man accused of killing Charles Lewis Jr., the 45-year-old Huntington Beach resident better known as mixed-martial arts clothing company TapouT's co-founder "Mask," is scheduled to begin Monday morning in Santa Ana, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced.

Jeffrey David Kirby, a 53-year-old Costa Mesa resident with a prior DUI conviction on his record, could get 19 years and eight months in state prison if he is convicted of the charges against him, which follow after the jump . . .

  • One felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated
  • One felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury
  • Sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and causing great bodily injury to multiple victims.


The latest OCDA statement on the case follows:

November 24, 2010

SECOND TIME DRUNKEN DRIVER FACES TRIAL FOR KILLING FERRARI DRIVER IN HIGH SPEED CRASH, SPLITTING VICTIM'S VEHICLE IN HALF

SANTA ANA - A second-time drunken driver faces trial Monday for killing a man and injuring his passenger after crashing his Porsche into the victim's Ferrari, causing it to slam into a light pole and spilt in half. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, Costa Mesa, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and causing great bodily injury to multiple victims.  He has a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 2002. Kirby faces a maximum sentence of 19 years and eight months in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on March 11, 2009, Kirby is accused of speeding in his 1977 Porsche on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach with a 32-year-old female passenger, Lynn Marie Nabozny. Kirby is accused of speeding alongside a 2004 Ferrari driven by 45-year-old Charles David Lewis, Jr., of Huntington Beach. Kirby is accused of losing control of his car due to his unsafe speed and crashing into Lewis' vehicle. Lewis lost control of his Ferrari, which crashed into a cement light pole and was torn in half. Kirby is accused of swerving and coming to a stop on Jamboree Road for several seconds before accelerating and fleeing the scene.

A Newport Beach Police officer, who had been passing northbound on Jamboree, observed the crash and immediately stopped to assist Lewis and called for back up. Lewis was trapped inside the front half of the Ferrari, which had to be dismantled in order to remove him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lewis' 23-year-old passenger, Lacy Lynn White, was ejected from the car and landed on the nearby dirt embankment. White was transported to Western Medical Center to be treated for a fractured elbow and several lacerations and abrasions. She is currently in stable condition.

After fleeing the scene, Kirby is accused of parking his Porsche, which had body damage consistent with having been involved in a crash, on Bison Avenue. Within minutes of the crash, a responding Newport Beach Police officer observed Kirby's parked car and saw the defendant and Nabozny walking outside of the defendant's vehicle. Kirby and Nabozny were both apprehended. The defendant is accused of emitting an odor of alcohol, slurring his speech, and having bloodshot and watery eyes. He was arrested at the scene. At approximately 3:00 a.m., two hours after the crash, Kirby is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .13 percent. Nabozny was arrested for public intoxication and later released.

Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Vehicular Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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